50 seek redress from Cedros land developer

Two men have been giv­en the green light to file a class ac­tion law­suit on be­half of more than 50 prospec­tive landown­ers, who claimed they were scammed out of mil­lions of dol­lars in de­posits for a sea­side res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in Ce­dros.

High Court Judge Ricky Rahim to­day grant­ed Fitzroy Williams and Neil Bish­op per­mis­sion to file and serve the claim against prop­er­ty de­vel­op­er Joseph Dhanoos­ingh, re­al es­tate agent Glenn Thomas and Thomas' com­pa­ny Mass Con­tract­ing Lim­it­ed.

Both men filed their claim in De­cem­ber, last year, but ap­proached Rahim for ap­proval to rep­re­sent oth­er al­leged vic­tims, who came for­ward af­ter learn­ing of the law­suit.

The mem­bers of the group, whose on­ly pre­vi­ous con­nec­tion was their in­vest­ment in the project, gath­ered at the Hall of Jus­tice for the hear­ing. They were seen hud­dled in groups and were over­heard pas­sion­ate­ly dis­cussing the case be­fore it was even­tu­al­ly called by Rahim around mid­day.

As the group is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Williams and Bish­op, the mem­bers would be all bound by the fi­nal de­ci­sion in the case.

In the law­suit, the group is claim­ing that they first learned of the de­vel­op­ment af­ter they re­spond­ed to a news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ment pub­lished in April 2016.

They were shown de­vel­op­ment plans and what they be­lieved to be Town and Coun­try plan­ning per­mis­sion by Thomas.

Some of the group made down pay­ments while oth­ers claimed they paid the full pur­chase price as ad­ver­tised. In to­tal, more than $10 mil­lion in pay­ments were made.

Williams and Bish­op de­cid­ed to file the claim af­ter there were de­lays in dis­trib­ut­ing the plots of land and is­sues in reg­is­ter­ing the deeds of con­veyance pro­vid­ed up­on full pay­ment, as they claimed were not au­then­tic doc­u­ments.

Once the breach of con­tract claim is filed and served on Thomas, his com­pa­ny and Dhanoos­ingh, a date for the first hear­ing of the case would be set by Rahim.

In ad­di­tion to fil­ing the claim, the group has al­so re­port­ed the in­ci­dent to the Fraud Squad.

The group is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Gilbert Pe­ter­son, SC, and Josi­ah Soo Hon.

- by Derek Achong. Photo by Ayana Kinsale

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