Barbados Today:- Prominent Barbadian developer Mark Maloney has been asked by a Florida judge to supply by Friday, information on the citizenship of the people he is suing in a matter in which he claims to have been defrauded of millions of dollars intended to purchase COVID-19 vaccines. But to add to his troubles, the businessman is now being threatened with a major countersuit by one of the parties in the action.
It’s part of a new twist to an already convoluted saga surrounding the purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines by Maloney’s company, Radical Investments Limited, as part of a regional bulk-purchasing arrangement involving the Barbados, St Lucia and Bahamas governments. The supply of the required information could avoid the case being dismissed.
Radical Investments is suing Good Vibrations Entertainment LLC, the purported supplier of the vaccines and a number of other businesses and individuals involved in the original attempt to buy the vaccines. The order for the jabs was never fulfilled leaving the plaintiff millions of dollars out-of-pocket.
Radical Investments Ltd. claims in its court papers that it was deceived and lured into an elaborate scam to advance the sum of US$10.2 million for one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which never materialised. The company alleges that on or around late March or early April, 2021, Maloney, the director of Radical Investments, was introduced by Cheryl Chamley, a Trinidadian national who resides in the United States and works in the PPE sector, to the principal of Good Vibrations Alex Lee Moore.
But in an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY via telephone on Thursday, an angry-sounding Moore accused Maloney of not telling the full story and pledged that he will be filing a “huge” countersuit against the Barbadian businessman by Monday at the latest.
Maloney also now has another challenge on his hands.
According to News Americas publication today, a Florida judge has ordered Maloney’s St. Lucia-registered, Barbados-based company to present proof by Friday detailing the citizenship of each individual being sued or face a dismissal of its lawsuit.
The publication said that U.S. District Court Judge, Aileen M. Cannon, ruled that before the court may assess whether there is “diversity jurisdiction”, the plaintiff must submit allegations or proof detailing the citizenship of each of the individual members of Good Vibrations Entertainment, LLC, Prestige Pegasus, LLC, and RDS Cargo Group DWC, LLC, all named as defendants in the suit.
“The citizenship of one member may destroy federal diversity jurisdiction if complete diversity of citizenship does not exist between the defendant and all of the members of a plaintiff’s limited liability company,” the news outlet reported the judge as writing in Fort Pierce. Diversity jurisdiction refers to a federal court’s exercise of authority over a case involving parties who are citizens of different states and an amount in controversy greater than a statutory minimum.
But while the Barbadian developer and cement supplier has that hanging over his head, the Good Vibrations Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is warning Maloney that “all hell is going to breakout” as his team of lawyers prepares for battle.
Moore has even threatened to fly to Barbados to have the matter adjudicated.
“If he filed a law suit against us, a countersuit will be filed within this week. If not this week, then by next week. There will be no question. He is going to have a countersuit which is going to happen here probably by Monday or Tuesday with my attorneys. Next week he is going to have a countersuit which is going to be huge,” the Good Vibrations boss told Barbados TODAY.
While not naming anyone, Moore revealed that he had been receiving death threats and would be addressing that before the law courts there as well.
“I had a conversation about this death threat with the FBI and they wanted me to go ahead and send it in and they would deal with it, but I said ‘no, I am going to wait to see how this guy acts and if he tones himself down. But he did not tone himself down. So now we will have to deal with that accordingly,” said the chief executive whose company’s core business is state-of-the-art film, TV, digital production and humanitarian work.
Moore said he has not yet been served with any court papers and only learned of the legal action during the interview with Barbados TODAY. He said he will now have to embark on a damage control campaign in Barbados.
“Now that I understand this is taking place, I am going to have my PR in Barbados and we are going to be placing advertisements regarding this situation in Barbados,” he declared.
Seeking to explain the fracture in relations with Maloney and the non-delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines, Moore claimed he was not the first choice as the business partner in this venture. “He had a deal with the Barbados government prior to even coming to me,” Moore claimed. “He was dealing with another supplier. He didn’t get it [the vaccines] and then he came to us to help facilitate afterwards. We were second. So now he is trying to blame and pawn everything off on us, when in actuality, it wasn’t us. He was under pressure, so he is trying to use me and my company as scapegoats and I would not tolerate that from anyone,” Moore contended.
“We work in humanitarian. I am a conscious-minded person. I love people. We don’t take people’s money, we don’t fraud people. He got money back in the escrow. I have a receipt of wire money from the actual attorney money that was sent back to him and his company,” the Los Angeles-based company official stated.
He did not share the receipt as promised.
Moore said he told Maloney upfront that he should not insist on trying to procure AstraZeneca in the short timeframe in which he was requesting it because the delivery would be delayed from the manufacturer.
However, he said Barbados could still get the vaccines.
“I have been working to deliver vaccines to these guys regardless, absolutely. There was a delay in the process because AstraZeneca is behind. We told this guy that from day one. You can’t get vaccines in a certain time period. AstraZeneca is behind,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“My company was acting as a facilitator. The initial company that was doing this was United Product Distribution. So United Product Distribution was who he and the Ministry of Health wrote out their documentation to, not Good Vibrations,” Moore recalled.
Barbados TODAY has obtained the purported copy of correspondence dated April 6, 2021 bearing the letterhead of the Ministry of Health here and signature of permanent secretary Janet Phillips and addressed to United Products and Distribution LLC authorizing Radical Investments Limited to procure one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“They are not going to do your order, but they gave me permission, if you want to do it, I will go ahead and I will still run it through; I will put it through my company for you, but again, I am telling you, you should switch; you shouldn’t do AstraZeneca, you should do Covishield. That’s a generic version and that’s available immediately. But for AstraZeneca, we don’t know,” Moore recalled of the discussion.
“Right from day one [we were] quite transparent. Now he is using my company as his scapegoat because he wasn’t able execute and deliver and past the buck off on me,” the Good Vibrations boss claimed.
“Prestige Global were the ones who had the relationship, I was just the one facilitating it. Pharma is the manufacturer of the vaccines and they are still waiting to be able to make their own out of Switzerland and once they do within an eight-week period; he didn’t want to wait any more.”
Asked how soon the vaccines would be delivered Moore replied: “The vaccines being delivered to Barbados is a determination which has to happen between Prestige Global, not my company. I don’t deliver vaccines, I am a facilitator. I didn’t even solicit these people, these people came to me because of the relationship of someone who knows that I help people as a humanitarian and facilitator.
“So Barbados has an opportunity right now. I can put them directly with the manufacturer, with Sinopharm. Sinopharm can be delivered within a week. Seven to 10 days, that’s what they told me. But if they are stuck on AstraZeneca, I can’t tell you when AstraZeneca is going to be delivered because AstraZeneca is so behind,” the CEO reiterated today.