Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge yesterday said that an investigation has been launched into reports that Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr. Shamir Ally had been convicted under the US Securities Act in 2003 even as he maintained that due diligence was exercised in the Ambassador’s appointment.
“We are trying to establish the veracity and determining the seriousness of the charge,” Greenidge told reporters yesterday at the Ministry of the Presidency.
He stated that due diligence was followed in the appointment, pointing out that Dr. Ally was a member of the Go-Invest Board and had also sat on a number of “boards and bodies over the years.” He further said that because of the size of the US it is difficult sometimes to get information.
“You have to approach the right court or the right state…” he noted.
He said that following the investigation a recommendation would be made to Cabinet which would then make the final decision on the matter.
Over the past three days, Stabroek News made several attempts to contact Greenidge by phone but all attempts have been futile and two emails sent to him seeking a comment on the matter have not been answered. This newspaper also reached out to Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Audrey Waddell on the issue but no comment has been forthcoming and there has also been no response from Dr. Ally.
According to the documentation, Ally along with Ronald Lanchoney and Robert Mancuso had a civil case filed against them by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Stabroek News was able to ascertain that a final judgement was handed down on July 3, 2003 by Judge Michael M. Baylson barring Ally, his agents, servants, employees and all persons in active concert or participation with him who received actual notice of the final judgement from violating, directly or indirectly Section 10 (B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Section 10 (B) addresses “Position Limits And Position Accountability For Security-Based Swaps And Large Trader Reporting.”
Mancuso was fined US$50,000 and Ally and Lanchoney fined US$10,000 each. It was stated that the defendants consented to the entry of the orders without admitting or denying the Commission’s allegation in the action.
It was alleged that the three were involved in the dissemination of false financial information by Acrodyne Communications Inc in press releases and Commission filings in 1998, 1999 and 2000. It was stated that Mancuso, Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ally, the company’s former controller and Lanchoney were aware of numerous and significant problems with the company’s accounting controls, but failed to assure that its financial transactions were accurately recorded. As a result of their actions Acrodyne engaged in inaccurate and improper cost accounting and revenue recognition. It was also alleged that starting in the second quarter of 1999 and continuing through the first quarter of 2000, Ally directed that unsupported journal entries be made to the cost of sales and inventory accounts to bring Acrodyne’s financial statements in line with the gross margin percentage he had estimated for the period.
On March 6th 2003, the Commission ordered Acrodyne to cease-and-desist from future violations of the anti-fraud periodic reporting, and books and records provisions of the Exchange Act.
Ally, who had been a longtime US-based financier of the Alliance for Change (AFC), left the party in 2013. However, he was listed as a candidate for the APNU+AFC coalition in the run up of the 2015 elections.
He was appointed ambassador earlier this year.
In 1996, he filed for bankruptcy in the US and the case was terminated in 1998 following 341 meetings.