In a letter sent yesterday – addressed to former Saint Kitts & Nevis CIU head Les Khan, former prime minister Timothy Harris, and former attorney general Vincent Byron – movie producer Philippe Martinez of MSR Media has given formal notice to the three that he is taking them to court in the United States over their involvement in the infamous Prison Project.
Martinez says he had not intended for the letter to make it to the public eye and that he was surprised to see that it had surfaced just hours after he sent it.
MSR Media is a movie production company approved for CBI investment under the former Alternative Investment Option. The company has produced a number of feature films in the federation, and also purchased the OTI Hotel in a transaction that, according to Martinez, was “introduced by Les Khan.”
In his letter, Martinez says he and his team have spent months investigating and gathering evidence related to the financing and discounting schemes of the country’s CIP that occurred during the tenure of Khan and Harris. The result of this investigation, the letter states, was the revelation of “numerous potential violations of United States laws, including fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption.”
Martinez’ letter further states that the individuals to which it is addressed should “be informed that all your public statements are being thoroughly analyzed by our investigation team in the United States. You have misrepresented the legal value of the CBI shares to MSR Media and American investors, claiming a value of US$200,000 while establishing a fraudulent network to sell shares of other projects at a fraction of their legal price, especially concerning the jail project.”
MSR Media, adds the letter, has been “formally delivering all evidence of your fraudulent activities to the United States Government.”
Martinez adds that he has instructed his legal team at Miller Chevalier “to begin legal action in the United States against you and all of your associated conspirators, including Ms. Ying Jin, CEO, Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation and Caribbean Galaxy Real Estate Corporation, for the significant financial damages caused to MSR Media and American investors.”
“We have hours of damning recordings”
Speaking exclusively to IMI via telephone today, Martinez provides further background:
“We have hours of damning recordings, both audio and video, which we will be introducing to US courts,” says Martinez. “We know how much was diverted offshore. We know where the money went. We have incontrovertible evidence of corruption, and we are going after everyone. We are going to introduce to US court all the parties responsible for this.”
Martinez further points out that the Washington DC based law firm with which he is working is one of the country’s leading specialists in foreign corruption and money laundering.
“This international scam ends now,” he comments. “This money should have been going into the infrastructure of the country. Instead it has gone to the offshore accounts of those responsible for administering the program, the promoters, and the developers. It has been an open secret for a long time within the industry, and it has been allowed go on for many years. No more. I am ending it by introducing all the evidence against all the parties involved, who we will sue in US courts.”
Martinez says he applauds the efforts of the current Drew administration in “cleaning up the program,” and emphasizes that his legal actions target “specific individuals and companies previously involved in the program, who are now operating in other Caribbean jurisdictions.”
IMI has reached out to Les Khan for comment.
Update Nov 20, 2023:
Following the publication of this article, Les Khan contacted IMI and shared a letter addressed to Martinez from the lawyers of Dr. Timothy Harris. Khan himself confirmed that he prefers not to make any statement on the matter.
The letter from Harris’ lawyers, Fosters, refers to Martinez’ letter as “defamatory of our client,” specifically Martinez’ claims of fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption on the part of Harris, Khan, and Byron.
The letter categorically states that “all the allegations made against [Harris] are entirely false, and the attack on him is unjustified. He has not engaged in any of the fraudulent or illegal activities alleged,” and points out that Mark Brantley, the former Premier of Nevis, whom Martinez had cited as an inadvertent witness, had “himself approved the CBI program as a member of the same government.”
Martinez’ charges, the letter adds, “amount to very serious libel” that has caused Harris “considerable stress and embarrassment.”
The letter goes on to request “a full and unequivocal public retraction and apology” and “substantial compensation for the injury to his reputation and feelings.”
Fosters has given Martinez until Tuesday 21st of November to respond before issuing a claim form.
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