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sediBelize City, Thursday 27, 2017 There is an old adage that goes - “A man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.” This is the truth in the case of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, a legal counsel at the Pitts and Elrington firm, who represented himself in a very troubling matter before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The CCJ has ordered Elrington to return all titles and transfer documents belonging to Progresso Heights Limited within the next 30 days. Elrington, for his part, has maintained that he is not in possession of any of those documents. Furthermore, he claimed he had never received them. However, in his written submissions to the CCJ, Eamon Courtenay S.C., established that the company had made deposits to Elrington’s account at the Bank of America in Miami Florida. These deposited cheques contained parcel numbers which corresponded with the parcels sold and needed to be transferred by Elrington. Additionally, Courtenay was able to establish that Elrington had received the documents via registered mail receipts. The judgment arose from a case brought against Elrington by Progresso Heights Limited, a company which had purchased over 2000 acres of property in the Corozal District and subdivided them for sale. Elrington was not only its legal counsel but a 20% shareholder. However, in 2010 things allegedly went sour when he requested a loan from the company to start a business with his brother Hubert Elrington, and that loan request was rejected by the directors. His relationship with the company reportedly became even more strained when his request to become a director of the company was not met. Elrington, it was revealed, began to accuse the company of mismanagement even though he was always furnished with the company’s financial statement. The company learned that he had lodged cautions against parcels of land it had already sold. This prevented the titles from being transferred to the purchasers. The company asked the Registrar several times to remove the cautions but those efforts failed, perhaps because of political interference. The company then took the matter to the Supreme Court and then the Court of Appeal but to no avail. They learned that Elrington, who had assisted with the recording of transfers, mortgages and other closing documents, would not register any new documents even though he had been paid to do so. Furthermore, he would not return the documents in his possession. This forced the company to return close to US $98,512.87 to the purchasers who were unable to receive their land title transfers. Since 2010 the company has suffered severe damage to its reputation and has been unable to make any sales because of the blockage by Elrington. IN an interview this week, attorney for Progresso Heights Eamon Courtenay S.C. explained, ““This is a most regrettable case. Mr Elrington has abused his attorney client relationship and made my clients suffer serious financial loss. It is scandalous and outrageous. Decency demands that he does the right thing.” It is not clear what will happen next. Elrington now has less than 30 days to return land titles allegedly valued at upwards of $1M.
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