Minister says he has no knowledge of inheritance
After a probate application revealed that Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, in his capacity as an attorney before assuming office, made inquiries on behalf of a relative of Derek Clayton Rolle about the existence of a multi-billion-dollar inheritance, the minister said yesterday he was advised that the money did not exist and remains unaware of the existence or whereabouts of the alleged money.
Unsubstantiated reports suggest Rolle inherited as much as $79 billion from a deceased American couple, though the government has labelled the matter as a “fanciful tale”.
Lloyd said in his private practice in late 2016, he was instructed by a relative of Rolle, otherwise known as Derek Clayton Rolle-Kelly, to make inquiries on her behalf as to the existence or whereabout of Rolle’s alleged inheritance money to a leading commercial bank in The Bahamas.
“I was advised by that institution that no such money existed and I so advised his (Rolle’s) sister,” the minister said.
“I am consequently entirely unaware of the existence [or] whereabouts of any such alleged money.”
He said his associate at the time, attorney Paul Moss, also “wrote some letters”, though he did not detail them.
Lloyd continued, “Pursuant to that relative’s instructions, I also applied to the Supreme Court Probate Division on behalf the late Mr. Rolle’s estate.
“Up to the time I left Colonels Chambers in March 2017, to offer as a candidate in the 2017 general elections, the said Probate Division had not concluded its process.
“In respect of scurrilous lies reported in certain social media postings of Facebook, I wish to affirmatively state that I never received — nor did the law firm in which I worked ever, while I was there receive — any money allegedly belonging to the estate of Derrick Rolle and so, I was never in charge of Derrick’s funds and had nothing to take for myself or to turn over to the government.
“I am also advised that neither this scurrilous lie nor any other matter involving me is before the AG or his office.”
Lloyd added that he has written a formal complaint to the police, requesting an investigation to determine the identity of the person, who he accused of libel, and said he fully intends to pursue charges once the individual is identified.
A letter from an RBC Royal Bank executive dated June 9, 2017, and addressed to Moss was attached to Lloyd’s statement.
Responding to requests for the statements of two bank accounts, RBC Royal Bank Area Vice President Lasonya Missick wrote, “We advise that RBC Royal Bank (Bahamas) Limited has no account for the captioned individual with the number 7025596.
“With respect to account 7467707, we confirm that the account is closed with a balance of zero. Please note the attached statement confirming the same.
An application for a grant of probate, a judicial process that seeks to appoint an executor, which was filed on February 14, 2017, and signed by Lloyd, sought to allow Rolle-Dill to become the personal representative of the estate; access the estate, obtain a “perfect inventory” of the estate and effects; pay Rolle’s debts, legacies and deliver what remains to her.
The document was revealed on “Beyond The Headlines” with host Clint Watson Wednesday.
In Parliament last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest dismissed allegations of a conspiracy involving government officials and the theft of the multibillion-dollar inheritance from the estate Rolle, as nothing more than a “patently absurd tale” that has spanned decades without substantiation.
The statement was prompted by Centreville MP Reece Chipman who has repeatedly called for a select committee of Parliament to probe all matters related to Rolle.
Turnquest said while the government was unable to speak for private entities, the Ministry of Finance contacted the named commercial bank, which indicated that it had no knowledge or possession of any funds related to Rolle.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of The Bahamas nor any other government entity were aware of the alleged inheritance. He added that the government was also not aware of any legal action that has commenced in The Bahamas or any other jurisdiction relating to the alleged theft.