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Trouble in Mullet Bay: The Truth About Ansary’s Mullet Bay St Maarten Purchase

Trouble in Mullet Bay

When Ansary acquired ENNIA in 2006, he had promised an injection of capital into the company. He did this, the complaint says, by contributing shares purportedly worth $300 million of a resort company, SunResorts Inc., for which he was an “indirect major shareholder and director,” the complaint alleges.

Among those who had served for at least some time as a director was Henry Kissinger. The former U.S. Secretary of State could not be reached for comment.

SunResorts owned 67.7 hectares — about 160 acres or roughly 125 football fields — of real estate in Mullet Bay on Sint Maarten. The parcel includes a golf resort, a hotel and timeshare locations. The area however had not been in use since 1995, when Hurricane Luis ravaged Mullet Bay, and no substantial repairs or development had been done since then, the complaint says.A satellite photo of the real-estate tract in Mullet Bay on the island of Sint Maarten.

The Mullet Bay shares soon represented more than half of ENNIA’s total assets.

The complaint says the shares were, in fact, worth much less. Ansary, it says, inflated the price of the land which, on paper, stood at $400 million in 2014 — a 600 percent rise from its value at $55 million in 2002, before he acquired ENNIA.

At the request of the central bank, the complaint states, Cushman & Wakefield, the global real estate services firm, did a valuation in 2018, finding the property to be worth $50 million.

Moreover, in 2006, with the help of an investment firm he set up, Ansary used $35 million from ENNIA to pay off the previous apartment owners with whom SunResorts had a decades-long dispute over hurricane damages, the complaint says.

The complaint alleges that the “unsound valuations” meant that ENNIA’s books had been artificially inflated, allowing Ansary to withdraw money from ENNIA’s accounts without it being apparent that the company could not afford it — and that Parman International, Ansary and his associates then withdrew around $120 million and distributed it among themselves.

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