WINNING BIDDER FOR LIBERIA'S LTC REVEALED TO BE INVOLVED IN "FORGERY, TAX EVASION AND FRAUD"
The man at the center of the controversy over the privatization of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, James S. Yarclay, was once allegedly embroiled in forgery, tax evasion, fraud, and an unsuccessful attempt to dupe a major international humanitarian organization, the Daily Observer has learned.
Dr. William T. Morris, president and CEO of Global 2000 (20100 ) International, has given this newspaper a first hand account of how he and his organization fell prey to Mr. Yarclay's alleged tricks.
According to Dr. Morris, Yarclay was "practically homeless just about two years ago." "At the time I operated an international humanitarian organization called Global 2000(2010) International. We are registered with the United Nations and the Federal Government of the United States to promote the aims and objectives of the United Nations." (See web site http://global2000int.tripod.com).
Dr. Morris said he was contacted by Yarclay, who offered the organization his services in the operational matters relating to the organization. However, Dr. Morris recalled that after he had traveled to East Africa to seek assistance for a UN AIDS project, Yarclay "stole the organization's Tax Exempt Document and forged his name as the owner of the organization." As a fellow Liberian I felt sorry for him and volunteered to help him," Dr. Morris said. "While I was in Tanzania, Yarclay took my organization's document, and tried to sell my organization's equipment. Yarclay told people I was not coming back into the country," Dr. Morris said.
He indicated that he had no idea that Yarclay had been in jail before. As a result, Dr. Morris said he had to hire a lawyer. Yarclay used the medical equipment as collateral to get a USD5M contract from an international organization. "People started writing to me telling me that my equipment had been used as a lien for a collateral.
Dr. Morris said Yarclay also forged documents and pre-coded them to make arrangement to sell three million dollars worth of medical equipments belonging to the organization while he was still outside of the United States. "The only reason this deal backfired was because Yarclay had just scammed a group of Doctors in Arizona out of USD5 million dollars and was using my Medical Equipments as collateral," said Dr. Morris. When he returned to Texas from Tanzania, he was then informed of the scam because at that time, the authorities werelooking for Yarclay.
"The question at hand here is, how can a man like Yarclay who had been living in the U.S. for all these years without a dime to his name come up with papers that this UTE Company has been in existence for up to twenty years, and of which he claims to be the president and CEO?" "I think they were registered and operating in Fantasy Land."
In a letter to the Observer on Thursday, a friend of Mr. Yarclay, James Dougba who resides in California. said Yarclay has been engaged in several businesses, that all failed and that he had suffered a number of evictions from office buildings due to failure to pay rent.
Mr. Dougba wrote that Yarclay ventured with UTE about 3 years ago, with the intention of providing prepaid calling cards but that did not last long. Cards were printed and sold with no services provided. Several retailers around the Dallas area are still looking for Yarclay to collect refund for the prepaid cards he sold to them.
Yarclay was reportedly employed as a sales clerk with an aviation company in Dallas, Texas after moving from Minnesota. He started a Tax business in the early 1990's and ended up in jail for tax fraud.
This record is available with the Dallas County and Tarrant County (both in Texas) and in the Texas State Attorney General's office. Back from jail after serving his term, Mr. Yaclay filed for bankruptcy when he could not pay his creditors. He later worked as a car sales man in the Dallas area in the late 1990s.
In a recent interview with the Daily Observer, Yarclay admitted that he did file for bankruptcy: "It is true that I filed a Chapter 7 in 1999 because I had some problem with the IRS and I did so to protect my assets from them. The matter has long since been resolved. The filing was personal and had nothing to do with Universal Telephone Exchange, Inc.(UTE)., my current company."
Dougba said he is 100% for the privatization but warned that it must be done very carefully, with the right investor with a proven world wide track record. He said he has known Mr. Yaclay for a long time, in Minnesota, USA, and he is a good friend. But for him to take up such a venture after failing almost every project he has undertaken in the United States "leaves me to wonder what he is going to contribute, what did he show to pre qualify for a bid for LTC? Was he the only bidder? Is this the reward for the visit he paid to Mr. Bryant while he was visiting the US? Yes Yarclay does have a track record of failures and that is all he can show," Mr. Dougba. .
Mr. Yarclay said that UTE was not in existence when the bankruptcy incident took place and therefore has no effect on his financial circumstances today.
Yarclay was taken aback by claims by the Liberian Ambassador to the U.S., Charles A. Minor, who told the Daily Observer that he did not know Yarclay. "It is unfortunate that he (Minor) does not remember me when in fact the two met during Bryant's visit to Texas for his son's graduation last year".
Yarclay's meeting with Chariman Bryant in Texas is bound to raise ethical questions in some quarters as to whether the bidding process for Telecom was a mere formality after all, considering the fact that Bryant had already come in contact with one of the key bidders, UTEI, a year ago during his Texas visit.