Police expect to send Savvy file to DPP early next year
Police expect to pass a file to prosecutors early next year into the disappearance of a taxpayer-funded $800,000 loan to an American music promoter and his Bermudian employee.
The cash was lent in April 2018 to Anthony Blakey and Danilee Trott, who operated as exempt company Savvy Entertainment Ltd, to buy equipment to set up a recording studio at Dockyard.
The recording studio was never set up and only $22,000 of the loan was paid back before Mr Blakey, from Atlanta, disappeared – as The Royal Gazette revealed in September last year.
David Burt, the Premier, apologised to the public for overseeing the loan and a police inquiry was launched.
Ms Trott and former tourism minister Zane DeSilva were arrested, questioned and released on bail in October 2020.
Mr DeSilva said he had “no involvement” in the loan to Savvy and event planner Ms Trott told the Gazette she never received any funds.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Nicholas Pedro, who is leading the inquiry, said yesterday: “The investigation is ongoing with a number of persons having been interviewed since the last update.
“There have not been any further arrests but the evidence gathering process is ongoing.
“We anticipate giving a file to the DPP early in the new year for review.”
The Gazette first revealed the loan in July 2019 and it was reported in October last year that the Government had yet to launch civil court proceedings to try to get back the money.
A Ministry of Tourism spokeswoman said then that lawyers in Georgia had been hired by the Government to serve Mr Blakey with a demand for payment but were unsuccessful.
The spokesman said the Government would "seek to obtain judgment in a civil case“.
She added: that ” … we have inquired of counsel in Atlanta whether it is possible to commence the action in Georgia and proceed there. We are awaiting a response.”
The Government told the Gazette last week that legal proceedings had still not been launched and were still being considered.
A spokeswoman said: “Efforts to serve Blakey have been unsuccessful thus far.
“However, US counsel have advised on the filing of proceedings in the US Federal Court.
“This course is being considered and it is expected that this will greatly increase the likelihood of this matter being advanced towards substantive proceedings in the recovery of these sums on behalf of the Government of Bermuda.”