BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 26, 2018–Bradley Paumen, an American businessman and owner of Dark Knight Cave Tours, and Michael Modiri an Iranian-American businessman who owns land that is adjacent to Paumen’s property, have been feuding and litigating for some time now.
In April 2016, Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith ordered Paumen to pay $300,000 to Modiri for trespassing on his land, on which Paumen had built an access road, after an ill-advised government acquisition.
Paumen, however did not obey the court order to pay the money that was awarded to Modiri; as a consequence of that, attorneys for the parties appeared before Justice Griffith this morning.
Upon exiting the court this morning, attorney Oscar Sabido, S.C., who represented Modiri, explained to the media the reason for these latest legal maneuvers.
Sabido explained that Modiri has had difficulties in collecting from Bradley Paumen, the judgment that was awarded to him by the court.
Sabido said that they have approached the court in an effort to get them to go behind the “veil” of Paumen’s two companies. Paumen owns shares in two companies, Sibun Grain and Indian Creek Equestrian, which Modiri is hoping will be a means through which he will be able to collect his money.
The lands are located in the Cayo District.
“So we are doing a very complicated procedure, to go behind the veil of the companies to show that the shares are for Mr. Paumen and Mr. Paumen in really abusing the personality of the companies to hide his shares to avoid the payment. In effect, he is frustrating an order of the court,” Sabido said.
Sabido was asked how successful has he been in his efforts to pierce the “veil” of the two Paumen companies.
“Today, we took the first step to freeze the shares and we were able to succeed, and the court awarded $1,000 to Mr. Modiri as cost. So now we can pursue the matter to completion and the matter can be fully argued,” Sabido explained.
Sabido added, “The shares will be safe. They cannot be touched by anybody. The two companies has been restrained and Mr. Paumen has been restrained and the person who holds the shares for Mr. Paumen has been restrained.”
Sabido said that this kind of injunction has to be backed up by facts, prima facie evidence, and the fact that the court went ahead and froze the shares shows that the court is paying attention to the shares being hidden.
“The court doesn’t take lightly frustrating orders of the court,” Sabido said.
Sabido added that the court made the order after substantive arguments about all the issues, so the court has decided in favor of Mr. Modiri today.
“It would be terrible bad for the claimant to have been awarded this money and can’t collect it”, Sabido explained.
Attorney Estevan Perrera represented Bradley Paumen, and upon exiting the court, he told reporters that in this case, Modiri has filed a new claim which they will deal with. He noted that all that was asked for, at this point, is an injunction preventing Mr. Paumen from transferring any of his shares.
Asked if Mr. Paumen is playing hardball, Perrera replied that (they, Modiri) have not taken the proper steps to collect the money, “but no, Mr. Paumen is not playing hardball.”