By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
ENVIRONMENTAL activists are seeking a Supreme Court order to have Nygard Cay sold to satisfy the $2.2m debt Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard owes in legal costs from illegal dredging activities.
Court documents obtained by The Tribune show how Save The Bays, formerly the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, is going after the $2,245,928.22 owed to them, as well as any accrued interest.
According to the documents, Nygard owes the Coalition $1,628,481.87 in costs on a full indemnity, solicitor and own client basis after Justice Rhonda Bain found him guilty of breaching a 2013 injunction preventing him from engaging in dredging activities at his Simms Point property.
At the time he was convicted, Nygard was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine by March 21, 2017 or face 14 days in prison. He was further ordered to remove the excavated sand and return it to Jaws Beach by April 7, 2017 or face an additional $50,000 fine and a $1,000 fine for each day that order is not adhered to.
Nygard paid the fine before the specified deadline, but has since appealed that ruling. Although he has appealed the ruling, a stay has not been granted and the $1.6m debt remains outstanding, the Coalition says.
Nygard also owes the Coalition $411,170.35 after the latter was awarded costs on a party and party basis for several interlocutory applications, namely substituted service on Nygard, due to the “difficulty” serving papers on him during the first committal proceedings; Nygard’s dismissed leave to appeal Justice Bain’s Ruling. No. 5; Nygard’s dismissed recusal application; and the Coalition’s preliminary objection to Nygard’s application to discharge the interlocutory injunction.
The Canadian billionaire also owes the Coalition $129,000 after the Coalition was awarded costs in a matter stemming from the October 2017 withdrawal of Nygard’s attorneys Lockhart & Co.
The Coalition was consequently awarded costs thrown away to be paid by Nygard on a full indemnity, solicitor and own client basis as a result of the adjournment caused by the withdrawal application.
Nygard also owes the Coalition $33,780 in costs on a party-and-party basis concerning a dispute between the parties concerning a visit to Nygard Cay to inspect the site of the alleged dredging as part of the first committal proceedings against him.
An affidavit by Akeria D. Martin, a member of the Coalition’s legal team, said Mr Nygard’s attorneys were emailed on August 15, 2018 requesting payment of the judgment debts within seven days and advised that failure to do so would result in the Coalition seeking the court’s assistance in recovering the debts.
However, Ms Martin said the Coalition has yet to receive an acknowledgement or a part payment of the judgment debts outstanding from Mr Nygard or his attorneys. This, notwithstanding four writs of execution seeking to enforce the four cost awards.
Consequently, the Coalition is asserting that it is now both “necessary and expedient” for the Court to grant an Order for the sale of Nygard Cay “in order for it to realize the payment of the judgment debts from the proceeds of the sale of the same”.
The Coalition said to its knowledge, Nygard Cay is the “only real estate” owned by Nygard in the Bahamas, and that while it is unable to provide a specific monetary value of the property, based on “public knowledge of real estate” in Lyford Cay and specifically Nygard Cay, it is of the view that the property’s monetary value “exceeds the judgment debts”.
“Therefore, the net proceeds of the sale of Nygard Cay would be adequate to satisfy the judgment debts”.
The Coalition’s bid to have Nygard Cay sold stems from Nygard’s ongoing battle with STB over allegations the construction/development activities at his Lyford Cay home have led to a substantial growth of the property.
The group claims Nygard has almost doubled the size of his property, from 3.25 acres to 6.1 acres since he acquired it in 1984, by allegedly reclaiming Crown land from the sea.