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Appeal Court upholds the Boldens' convictions

Disgraced financiers David and Antoinette Bolden have lost an appeal against their conviction for misleading the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

The husband and wife, of Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton Parish, were found guilty of the offence by a Supreme Court jury in June.

The same jury cleared them of theft and money laundering allegations in relation to their Emerald Financial Group of Companies.

Yesterday, their lawyer Andrew Martin argued in the Court of Appeal that their convictions should be quashed because the BMA had not invoked its formal powers under the Investment Business Act 2003 when it requested information from them.

He said the request was not made under section 45 of the Act and the correspondence between the financial regulator and the Boldens between September 28 and October 28, 2008 regarding Emerald's liquidity amounted to a voluntary exchange of information.

Sir Scott Baker, a member of the Appeal Court panel, asked Mr Martin: “What's the mischief that this part of the Act is trying to deal with? It's trying to ensure the companies have sufficient liquidity.

“It's odd if having identified the mischief, it's then possible to give false information to the BMA and to find that one can do that without contravening the Act.”

Mr Martin said the information shared by the Boldens was in the “run-up” to the BMA exercising its powers.

“Only when they invoke those powers under the Act can a person be held guilty of a criminal offence,” he said. “We submit that the parameters of criminal conduct under the Act have to be very narrowly restricted.”

The hearing was told that the BMA appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to do an investigation into the affairs of three of the regulated companies within the Emerald Group.

Mr Martin said the correspondence in question fell between the end of PWC's inquiry and the beginning of the next stage of the BMA's actions against Emerald.

The Official Receiver was called in summer 2009 after the BMA took enforcement action to begin winding up the Emerald Group of Companies.

Rory Field, director of public prosecutions, argued against the appeal on behalf of the Crown yesterday.

Appeal Court president Justice Edward Zacca told the court that the panel dismissed the appeal and affirmed the Boldens' convictions. He said written reasons would be provided at a later date.

The couple was sentenced to 200 hours of community service in August but did not have to begin the unpaid voluntary work until their appeal was heard.

Mr Bolden declined to comment after yesterday's hearing.

Antoinette and David Bolden

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Published March 13, 2012 at 9:00 am (Updated March 13, 2012 at 9:47 am)

Appeal Court upholds the Boldens' convictions

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