Butch Stewart’s Sandals Features in the Fraud Section of the UK News

The following articles is reproduced in the public interest – David, Blogmaster

Sandals Resorts ‘operated decades-long tax fraud by charging guests 12% rates but pocketed the cash in secret deal with local Caribbean governments,’ class action lawsuit claims

  • Sandals Resorts has been hit with a class action lawsuit in Florida on Tuesday over an alleged tax fraud scheme run at its Caribbean resorts 
  • The company is accused of charging guests 12% tax rates but instead of handing over the money, the funds are ‘secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit’ 
  • Plantiff Vitali Feldman stayed at a Sandals Resorts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, along with his wife and two children and claims he fell victim to the alleged scheme
  • His lawyers claim customers were ‘deceived into paying such tax that was, in fact, being secretly retained by Defendants for their own use, benefit and profit’
  • Lawyers claim Sandals Resorts settled with the government of Antigua and Barbuda over unpaid sales tax totaling $37.5M, and paid only 37 cents  
  • The class action lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million
  • Sandals Resorts denied the allegations saying: ‘Our valued guests have never been unlawfully charged for taxes and allegations to the contrary are false’ 

Sandals Resorts has been hit with a massive lawsuit over claims the company worked in concert with local Caribbean governments in a decades-long tax fraud scheme, according to court papers obtained by DailyMail.com.

Sandals is accused of charging guests 12 percent tax rates but instead of handing over the money to local governments, the funds are ‘secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit’, according to the suit filed in Florida federal court on Tuesday.

New Jersey resident Vitali Feldman is the only named plaintiff in the suit and hired Miami-based law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman to represent him, along with any others who join the suit, which is seeking at least $5 million.

Sandals Resorts has been hit with a massive lawsuit over claims the company worked in concert with local Caribbean governments in a decades-long tax fraud scheme, DailyMail.com has learned

Sandals Resorts has been hit with a massive lawsuit over claims the company worked in concert with local Caribbean governments in a decades-long tax fraud scheme, DailyMail.com has learned

Feldman vacationed at a Sandals Resorts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, along with his wife and two young children.

He claims he fell victim to the alleged scheme when he was charged with the ‘all inclusive’ tax rate of 12 percent of the total cost of his stay.

Lawyers claim current and past customers were ‘deceived into paying such tax [in whole or in part] that was, in fact, being secretly retained by Defendants for their own use, benefit and profit’.

The suit states: ‘At all times material, it is represented to the public and Plaintiffs and others similarly situated that the ‘all inclusive’ packages include ”all taxes.”

‘The way the charges were presented to the guests was described in a deceptive way by labeling the charge(s) as a local government tax, when in fact Sandals was charging more money for the room.’

In a statement to DailyMail.com, a spokesperson for Sandals Resorts said: ‘Our customers are our top priority and under no circumstances would we exploit their faith in us.

‘Our valued guests have never been unlawfully charged for taxes and allegations to the contrary are downright false. Not only do we conduct our business with pricing transparency, we meet all of our tax obligations in each of the islands where we call home.

‘We take great pride in being the gold standard in the islands where we operate and have spent close to four decades providing guests with the most comprehensive vacation experience bar none.

‘We will of course vigorously defend against these baseless allegations.’

Sandals is accused of charging guests 12 percent tax rates but instead of handing over the money to local governments, the funds are 'secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit', according to the lawsuit filed in Florida federal court on Tuesday

 

Sandals is accused of charging guests 12 percent tax rates but instead of handing over the money to local governments, the funds are ‘secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit’, according to the lawsuit filed in Florida federal court on Tuesday

In court papers, lawyers claim all guests of Beaches Turks & Caicos, which falls under Sandals Resorts’ ownership, paid a 12 percent accommodation tax.

But ‘unknown to Plaintiffs and others similarly situated is the existence of an agreement between Sandals and the Turks and Caicos government permitting Sandals to retain a significant percentage of such taxes for its own use and benefit instead of remitting the monies to the government,’ the suit claims.

It adds: ‘These tax charges are used to generate extra profit at the expense of Plaintiff and others similarly situated, who were deceived into believing the fees are legitimate charges directly related to Sandals’ owed and paid taxes to the government.

‘In fact, the fees are nothing but profit-enhancers disguised as taxes that have a legitimate purpose, constituting a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.’

Sandals Resorts is accused of running the same alleged scheme at its resorts in Grande Antigua, Barbados and Royal Barbados where guests are charged a 12.5 percent sales tax.

Again, Sandals Resorts allegedly ‘retained a significant percentage of such taxes for its own use and benefit instead of remitting the monies to the government’, due to ‘an agreement between Sandals and the Antigua and Barbuda government’.

The suit adds: ‘By bundling the fees, taxes, and other charges into the all-inclusive package, Sandals is able to conceal the fact that consumers were being vastly overcharged for the all-inclusive resort package due to the agreement to retain a large portion of the taxes.

‘In short, Sandals has, through fraud, deception, omission and/or concealment, engaged in a pattern of unlawful profiteering, deceit, and self-dealing with regard to charging a local government tax and retaining a large percentage of such.’

The lawyers claim in court papers that Sandals Resorts settled with the government of Antigua and Barbuda over unpaid sales tax totaling $37.5 million up to late December of 2016.

Sandals Resorts agreed to pay $1 East Caribbean Dollar, which is around 37 cents, which the government accepted.

‘Because the government stipulated to not collect the $37.5 million and Sandals retained such monies, Plaintiffs and other similarly situated are entitled to these monies as it relates to the taxes they were fraudulently and deceptively charged,’ according to court papers.

The class action lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million, exclusive of interest and costs.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7054509/Sandals-Resorts-operated-tax-fraud-scheme-charging-guests-12-tax-rates-pocketed-cash.html

16 comments

  • Damn FRAUDS the whole lot of them..

    can’t stop frauding.

    Like

  • Someone will let us know what the DLP& BLP fake news will not, everyone making money and the Nation Broke, Just more and more TAXES, more and MORE VAT on top of higher prices more money for the crooks, Paychecks bring home less and less and we are to do more with less and less this is not a game, only to the crooks, None needs to be respected or even smile with, Put full coverage on your cars and homes,More PAIN to come!

    Like

  • What Caribbean politicians and Caribbean corporations better realize is that the long arm of the USA legal system is going to enforce justice on them if they don’t do it themselves. Charging and American 12.5% fake tax is a crime everywhere in the world now as the USA is using its legal weight everywhere. The bigger question is how many politicians or bureaucrats got a piece of cheddar from Sandals from never reporting this fake tax. If they got cheddar they are thus part of the fraud under conspiracy and racketeering laws. If a single dollar was deposited in one of their Miami or New York bank accounts that money will be gone ofter by the USA DOJ. Although this is presently a civil suit don’t be surprised when the DOJ jumps in and makes it a usa criminal suit. The Bajans who gained from this may avoid Dodds but they will probably get a vacation in Dade County prison along with fines that will wipe them clean. I am no supporter of US international relations but it seems the USA DOJ is the only legal entity out there that will punish the political and economic malfeasance of Barbados and other Caribbean states. The best part will be when Butch rolls over states witness and gets away with a fine, while the politicos get time and a fine. Ef uh wuzz involved in this my sphincter would be the size of a dime.

    Like

  • Allen Stanford v Butch Stewart

    Discuss

    Like

  • @Grey bunny May 22, 2019 11:41 AM
    Spot on.

    Like

  • Buccaneers are alive and well in these Caribbean Islands.Butch Stewart is now the king of buccaneers robbing Barbados of its patrimony and its ability to provide decent living for all its citizens.Half billion dollars in tax giveaways by Stuart and Sinckler is nothing to sneeze at.Its a damn shame these two aren’t in Dodds.

    Like

  • During our first stay at Sandals Barbados we asked for a VAT receipt and were told that we could not have one as payment had been processed in Fort Lauderdale (FL). Therefore there was no way we could tell if VAT had been charged and paid. When I queried the proposed imposition of VAT on online purchases for goods/services rendered on Barbados I was told by the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Investment and Finance, Avinash Persaud, that this would include Sandals. He also quoted a figure of $50 million (BDS$ or US$ not specified) that this new measure would bring annually to Government. I question this figure, as IF Sandals were included, their potential VAT contribution alone would be in the region of $21 million (per year), based on a conservative average room rate of US$400 per night and annual occupancy of 80 per cent,

    IF Sandals are NOT included in VAT collection, then this further disadvantages existing other accommodation operators and new investment.

    Liked by 2 people

  • To be expected Sandals has launched a counter action.

    Like

  • (MENAFN – Caribbean News Now) By Youri Kemp

    “According to a confidential US government source, an investigation has been launched into the possibility of Sandals’ US citizen guests being deceived at best and defrauded at worst into paying what they believed to be a TCI and/or Antigua government accommodation or sales tax, a large part of which was retained by Sandals, such payments being processed through the US banking system by means of credit cards or otherwise.”

    “It is understood that the FBI in South Florida and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are currently both actively involved in identifying all US citizens who may have been affected by the deception.”

    Like

  • This is something that can be checked/verified. Let us wait for the findings.

    Like

  • Adrian Loveridge has nailed the nastiness that is Butch Stewart the ckskr.You can rob stupid black azz idiots like Stuart and Sinckler but there is a day of reckoning on the horizon if those US courts get involved.All these JA Caribbean people doing is robbing poor people blind by going to bed with white trash like Stewart who has conscience.

    Like

  • Poor regulation, poor corporate laws, poor revenue collection, timid law-making. How to remedy this: toughen regulation and supervision; overhaul corporation law and stop taxing profits and tax revenue instead, including room occupancy, rather than bogus figures from some offshore booking management agency.
    Why is it to book some hotels in Barbados I have to go through and pay some company in the US?

    Liked by 1 person

  • The lawyers are the thieves here. Those vacations not cheap and them Sandals are selling for thousands. Them trying to make a fast buck on some minimal tax. Me don’t think so. If them kept the tax then it their problem. The whole ting political and people envious of Sandals. Who care.

    Like

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