It seems that I can’t quite leave the notorious Taylor clan behind, but what a tangled web it was. Or perhaps still is. I will be looking more closely at Geoffrey Taylor, the father, and Michael Taylor, one of the sons, with the help of the ICIJ Offshore Leaks database. And I will be looking for links with Unitrust Corporate Services, or Unitrust Capital Corp, which appears to be one and the same; as well as the collaboration of the Taylors with Mr & Mrs Petre-Mears, residents of the Caribbean island of Nevis, who are notorious nominee directors. This topic has been covered on the Naked Capitalism Blog, but that was really before the Panama Papers were released, and there is a local angle here in New Zealand.
So I have previously mentioned the links between the Taylors and some Cypriots, and their links in turn with Russian law firms, and other East European individuals. Most of the entries in the ICIJ database for Geoffrey Taylor appear in the earlier document leak, and are sourced from the Commonwealth Trust Ltd as an agent. Taylor senior appears as director 89 times, based on one of his entries, and is linked to a number of Russian and Cypriot firms. As an example, G.T. has been a director of RosTiford Ltd since the year 2000, and the intermediary is the Andreas Petrou law office of Nicosia, which has 129 entries overall. Another (presumably BVI company) is Russmotors Ltd, for which G.T. has been a director since 2004, and the intermediary was Corporaterra Ltd of Nicosia, which has 117 entries overall. This is nothing on Christabel Corporate Services Ltd, of Limassol, which has over 900 entities linked to it in the database. From the Panama Papers, G.T. is a shareholder in Sequioa European Asset Management Ltd, a BVI registered company, where he appears to have succeeded a company named Vernon Directors Ltd in 2013. In another entry for Vernon Directors Ltd, G.T. is listed as a shareholder and the beneficiary, along with a Loizos Loizou of Nicosia in Cyprus. Mr Loizou is also listed as a director of Olpi Ltd, from 2007, where the intermediary is Unitrust Corporate Services of London, which has a whopping 5699 entries in the ICIJ database.
Geoffrey Taylor is also linked with a Luxembourg firm, GESFO S.A., and Maypark Associates Ltd, where he was succeeded as a director in 2004 by Sarah Petre-Mears of Petre-Mears Corporate Services. Mrs Petre-Mears is more well known as a regular nominee director for Unitrust Corporate Services, and both she and her husband Edward appear in the New Zealand company register a number of times. The New Zealand version of Unitrust Corporate Services Ltd was established in late 2008, with Sarah Petre-Mears as shareholder/director, and it was not removed from the register until June 2013. I want to look at the details of the link between Unitrust and the G.T. Group, and the locations involved. The presenter of the documentation for Unitrust was Olga Vovchenko, who otherwise does not appear in the companies register, and it was first located in Tauranga, New Zealand. It was around December 2009 that the Unitrust-administered companies had a new address in Queen St, Auckland, being the base for the G.T. Group. The other company that Mrs Petre-Mears was involved in, Conteron Group Limited, moved a number of times in its brief existence: starting in Tauranga, it was moved to G.T. headquarters in Auckland, then apparently back to Tauranga, to be managed by the Abaconda Management Group, before having a final address in Queens St, Auckland. However, this was a different address for the G.T. Group, and it was in fact the building next door, at 363 Queens St, which is the home of the Quest Apartments.
Indeed, the address of Quest 1504B, 363 Queens St, was often used by Michael Taylor in the company registration process. It looks like an apartment address, but it is in fact effectively a hotel room. Even I have stayed in the Quest Apartments. I also want to look at a few examples of the companies linked to the Taylors, Unitrust, and Edward Petre-Mears. One was Omega Pacific (NZ) Ltd, which is quite a common name. It was registered in 2008 by Ed Kruger, of Abaconda Management in Tauranga, with Mr Petre-Mears as the shareholder/director. Within a month the shareholding was transferred to Sergey Koshkin, of Moscow, and the company address was moved to Auckland before it is removed in July 2012. But Sergey Koshkin also appears in the Panama Papers, along with 3 other comrades, as the shareholders of Helena Associates Corp, a BVI company that was also subject to ‘inactivation’ in July 2012, before being struck off in 2013.
Another New Zealand company administered by Unitrust, with the help of the G.T. Group, was Kazantip Ltd, which was active between 2010 and 2012. This one started off its shelf life at the Quest Apartments address in central Auckland, before being moved out to Te Atatu, in West Auckland. Along the way the shareholding was transferred from Charlie Kalopungi of Vanuatu, a G.T. regular nominee director, to Edward Petre-Mears of Nevis. The interesting thing here is that the presenter of the only annual return for Kazantip Ltd was given as being Kirill Kiriantychev, of Unitrust Capital Corp. He also gives an address as a ‘suite’ in Steeles Ave, Concord, Ontario, Canada. Kirill Kiriantychev is not in the ICIJ database, but is listed on the Open Corporates database, where he appears to have set up a lot of companies in Arkansas. But Unitrust Capital Corp, and the Canadian address, is listed as one of the 5699 entities in the Unitrust Corporate Services category, based at their London address; and there are a further 680 entries linked to a Russian address. I also looked for a link between Sarah Petre-Mears and Kiriantychev. There is a company created by Unitrust Corporate Services, called Entera Ventures Corp, where Sarah Petre-Mears is the director, but the shareholder is a Mr Kirill Neklyudov of Moscow. Neklyudov is also the shareholder in another Unitrust company, this time called Dretomak Financial Inc., but the director is Kellee France (of Nevis) this time. Ms France was also the shareholder/director in five New Zealand companies that follow the same pattern, having been set up by Unitrust in Tauranga, and then assumed by the G.T. Group at their various Auckland addresses. She also has 19 entries in the ICIJ database.
Finally, one of the companies that Sarah Petre-Mears is a director of is Vendome International Ltd, though the intermediary was GESFO of Luxembourg. However, Vendome is quite a popular name for a company. There is a BVI company called Vendome Estates Ltd, which has a number of shareholders, and the beneficiary is listed as Michael John Taylor of Monaco. I don’t think this is the same Michael Taylor, the resident of Quest Apartments in Auckland. But Michael J. Taylor had three other BVI companies, and these had shareholders in the form of Aztec Holdings Ltd, and the Republic International Trust Company Ltd, and these two companies do link Monaco with Australasian trust company players.