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Warner sues TTFA for $15.7m.
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For­mer Fi­fa vice-pres­i­dent Jack Warn­er has sued the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) over al­most $16 mil­lion in loans he claims he pro­vid­ed to the or­gan­i­sa­tion while at its helm.

In the law­suit, filed in the Port-of-Spain High Court on Mon­day, Warn­er is al­leg­ing the TTFA failed to re­pay the loans de­spite ac­knowl­edg­ing them sev­er­al times in the past.

Ac­cord­ing to his court fil­ings, which were ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia Sports, Warn­er claims he pro­vid­ed the loans, to­talling $15,761,003, over 15 years. The mon­ey was al­leged­ly used to cov­er the as­so­ci­a­tion's ex­pens­es, in­clud­ing the suc­cess­ful 2006 World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion cam­paign.

Warn­er claimed the TTFA nev­er dis­put­ed its debt to him, as it was re­flect­ed in its fi­nan­cial state­ments be­tween 2007 and 2012. He in­clud­ed cor­re­spon­dence from for­mer TTFA pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee, who wrote to him to ac­knowl­edge the debt and as­sured him it would be cleared af­ter the as­so­ci­a­tion's fi­nan­cial po­si­tion im­proved.

While Warn­er claimed he at­tempt­ed to get Tim Kee to com­mit to a pay­ment plan in 2015, no as­sur­ances were giv­en. How­ev­er, the debt was even­tu­al­ly writ­ten off in the as­so­ci­a­tion's 2015 fi­nan­cial state­ments, as it was claimed the debt was statute-barred and it had no oblig­a­tion to pay.

"These ac­counts were pub­lished af­ter the date of both let­ters from pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee, who had on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions ac­knowl­edged the debt to the claimant...At no time did the claimant in­form the de­fen­dant that they were no longer un­der an oblig­a­tion to re­pay the debt," Warn­er's doc­u­ments stat­ed.

Through the law­suit, Warn­er is seek­ing re­pay­ment of the mon­ey ad­vanced, plus in­ter­est cal­cu­lat­ed us­ing a prime com­mer­cial lend­ing rate.

In the event Warn­er even­tu­al­ly suc­ceeds in his law­suit it would put the as­so­ci­a­tion in an even more pre­car­i­ous fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, as over the past few years it has been swamped by le­gal dis­putes from na­tion­al play­ers and for­mer tech­ni­cal staff.

Warn­er is no stranger to the courts, as he is cur­rent­ly fight­ing his ex­tra­di­tion to the Unit­ed States to face charges aris­ing out of a US De­part­ment of Jus­tice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to cor­rup­tion in FI­FA.

Last month, US Dis­trict Court Judge William Kuntz en­tered a de­fault judge­ment against Warn­er in a US$20 mil­lion em­bez­zle­ment case which CON­CA­CAF brought against him and for­mer ex­ec­u­tive Chuck Blaz­er. Kuntz's de­ci­sion was based on the fact that Warn­er had failed to reg­is­ter an ap­pear­ance in the case through an at­tor­ney.

CON­CA­CAF has al­so brought a US$37.8 mil­lion law­suit against Warn­er, his wife, ac­coun­tant and two com­pa­nies over own­er­ship of the Dr Joao Have­lange Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Ma­coya. In that case, CON­CA­CAF is al­leg­ing that de­spite pro­vid­ing the funds for the project, the fa­cil­i­ty re­mained un­der one of Warn­er's com­pa­nies.

The case is still be­ing heard by High Court Judge Robin Mo­hammed, who is cur­rent­ly mulling over an ap­pli­ca­tion to have Warn­er's wife and the com­pa­nies re­moved from the case be­fore it goes to tri­al.

Warn­er is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Rekha Ramjit and Alvin Pariags­ingh.

RELATED NEWS

Jack sues TTFA for $15m.
By Jada Loutoo (Newsday).


Already saddled with mounting debts from lawsuits and outstanding payments, the TT Football Association is facing another legal battle in court.

Calling for repayment of a $15 million loan is the association’s former adviser and former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Warner’s attorneys on Monday filed the claim against the TTFA in the Port of Spain High Court for debt recovery and breach of contract.

Warner wants repayment of $15, 761,003, or alternatively damages, for breach of contract with interest at the prime commercial lending rate.

Representing Warner, who is also a former CONCACAF president, are attorneys Rekha Ramjit and Alvin Pariagsingh.

According to the claim, over a period of approximately 15 years, Warner made loans to the TTFA to fund activities for members, in expressed and implied terms that they would be repaid in a reasonable time.

The claim said indebtedness to Warner was never disputed and was reflected in the TTFA’s financial statements for the years 2007 to 2012.

On March 10, 2015, Warner wrote to the TTFA asking for a statement outlining the association’s indebtedness to him. By letter, on March 21, 2015, then TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee wrote to Warner, acknowledging the $15 million debt, but said the association was at the time not in a financial position to settle in part or in whole.

A pledge was given to repay Warner when the TTFA’s financial position improved. According to Warner’s claim, the acknowledgment was unequivocal and unconditional. Warner said he was also asked to consider a reduced settlement amount.

The lawsuit says Warner continued to contact Tim Kee, pressing for a confirmed date of payment, rather than a “loose and open-ended commitment” of when the TTFA’s financial position changed or would change.

Warner continued to hold discussions with the TTFA by telephone and Tim Kee again wrote to Warner on October 30, 2015, acknowledging the debt as well as other debts to companies of which Warner is a shareholder or director.

The debt recovery claim said between then and June 2017, Warner made several oral requests for the TTFA to give a firm commitment to a date by which the debt would be settled, in whole or in part.

“No commitment was forthcoming,” it said.

A pre-action protocol letter was sent on June 6, 2017, calling on the TTFA to pay the entire $15 million or make satisfactory arrangements to pay. After an extension was sought, and given, to reply on June 23, 2017, the TTFA asked Warner to disclose copies of all documentation he had on the loans. Warner’s attorneys wrote back telling the TTFA its response was laughable at best, but referred to a confirmation of the debt owed.

Warner’s attorneys also warned that should the matter go to trial, he would contended the TTFA was acting in bad faith.

The lawsuit also said the debt was even acknowledged in the TTFA’s published audited financial statements for 2014, but was withdrawn from the accounts of 2015, and explained as a “write back of a significant amount due to a related party during the year that was either statute-barred or for which the association had no obligation to pay.”

However, Warner’s claim insists that at no time was he told that the debt was being taken off the books and pointed out that Tim Kee twice acknowledged the debt. The claim also says at no time did the TTFA tell him it was no longer under an obligation to repay him.

The lawsuit also said the TTFA’s financial statements confirmed it was a going concern and, according to the claim, the assumption of its being a going concern was maintained on the basis of the commitment of FIFA and the Government to provide, as necessary, financial and managerial support to the association.

Warner claims because of the TTFA's failure to repay the debt, he has suffered loss and damage.