Land row

Embattled lawyer faces civil suit for non-payment for client funds

Yet another attorney-at-law is in legal hot water with a former client.

Vonda Pile, who is already facing four criminal fraud charges including money laundering, is expected to appear in the High Court next month to defend a civil suit against her related to one of the criminal matters.

Attorney-at-law Vonda Pile.
Attorney-at-law Vonda Pile.

Anstey King, a Barbadian currently residing in the United States, has claimed in a lawsuit that Pile owes him more than $200,000 – money he alleges was wired to her to expedite the purchase of a parcel of land at Maxwell, Christ Church on his behalf.

King, who told Barbados TODAY he is now represented by attorney Bobby Clarke after firing three previous lawyers, said the matter dates back to January 2009, when Pile showed him the land.

The complainant is alleged to have signed the necessary paperwork and mailed the lawyer a deposit of US$20,000, informing her that he would return to Barbados in the summer and they could close the purchase at that time.

He told Barbados TODAY he subsequently wired the balance of the money on the said land transaction to Pile, who had done legal work for him and his family over a long period.

It is alleged that upon returning to Barbados and viewing the property that was subject to the transaction, King realized it was not the property contemplated in the original agreement and asked to be immediately discharged from the agreement.

King also alleged that when he requested his repayment it was not immediately forthcoming.

He claimed Pile wired him US$48,991.78, leaving a balance of US$96,008.22 which he said she has not yet paid.

In a judgment dated October 13, 2011, the Supreme Court directed the attorney to pay her former client the sum of $212,928.50, inclusive of interest and costs of $4,700, with interest at a rate of 10 per cent per annum, commencing October 14, 2011.

However, the court later struck out the order, after finding that the claim was improperly filed.

When contacted, Pile did not admit to owing King. In fact, she insisted that it was she who was owed.

“He [King] brought an action and it failed and the court ordered costs,” she told Barbados TODAY.

Clarke admitted this afternoon that the court order had been struck out because it was incorrectly filed by the previous attorney and he had therefore applied to the court for a date to start the process over.

King also reported that he attended all the hearings of the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association in connection with Pile’s case several years ago but has still not heard from that body.

He said he was also disappointed and frustrated that his former lawyer was still practising even though she was charged with a crime.

When Pile first appeared in the magistrate’s court in July 2011 on a charge that she stole US$96,008 belonging to King between April 29, 2009 and October 26, 2010, she was placed on $500,000 bail.

She also faces charges of stealing $205,481 between January 11, 2007 and March 16, 2011, being the proceeds of a Royal Bank of Canada cheque payable to Patricia Hall; and two counts of engaging in money laundering, in that she disposed of the sums of US$96,008 and $205,481, being the proceeds of crime.

Just last week, less than a month after it was reported that he had failed to pay a former client money owed from the sale of his deceased aunt’s property, Speaker of the House Michael Carrington handed over the outstanding funds. The Bar Association is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at its headquarters to address issues recently reported in the media.

27 Responses to Land row

  1. Lavern Hinds
    Lavern Hinds February 5, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Can’t trust these lawyers @ all

  2. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde February 5, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Smh…when and where did Barbadian attorneys become so dishonest.

    • John Herbert
      John Herbert February 5, 2015 at 4:54 am

      Really Margaret? People have been complaining about this for years…as a contributor to the calling programe said recently, it is not the young lawyers who are the problem.

      By the way….anybody recall that a lawyer got locked up in Barbados already and another is on the run?

    • Karen F-Glasgow
      Karen F-Glasgow February 5, 2015 at 5:31 am

      They got bright and out of place

    • Margaret Lorde
      Margaret Lorde February 5, 2015 at 8:12 am

      It’s not new John Herbert…I’m disgusted no matter how long it’s been going on, I’m quite aware it exists but it’s ugly on any level.

  3. Cat Rock
    Cat Rock February 5, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Wow it’s a sad state of affairs when people entrusted to upload and administer the law are the ones engaged in criminal activity.
    Secondly how can a lawyer be allowed to practice with those types of criminal charges pending. It seems the Barbados judiciary system is in dire need of a serious audit and overhaul

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 5, 2015 at 4:59 am

    I rather trust a shoplifter than a lawyer in Barbados. A full investigation is required on lawyers, construction, National Insurance and the ministers in Barbados. A good thing the Banks are owned by internationals otherwise the vaults would be empty. It is so hurtful to see Bim is slipping into the sewer.

    • Maxine Whittaker
      Maxine Whittaker February 5, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Veronica Boyce,well but,those greedy people in high places have been doing this to the people of Barbados for many years,and friends in place getting they lion cut of the back of the poor and less privileged,while the lawyers sit like fat cats a waiting they next predator, to steal they inheritance or properties refusing ppl of having they day in court and this includes ministers that’s running the same Government,
      insurance companies all these body’s needs properly investigating.

  5. Denisha Applewhaite
    Denisha Applewhaite February 5, 2015 at 5:30 am

    This isnt anything just for some reason they seem to be getting flush out like ants coming from underground smh

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner February 5, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Cannot and will never trust any lawyer anywhere in the world not just Barbados can’t understand for the life of me why people keep letting lawyers control they damm money.

  7. Temu Hinds
    Temu Hinds February 5, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Just another one of hundreds. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

  8. Shanika Roberts Odle
    Shanika Roberts Odle February 5, 2015 at 5:49 am

    And which idiot said bajan’s trust attorneys

  9. Jacqui Hinds Henry
    Jacqui Hinds Henry February 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    The system is very corrupt and none of the lawyers get disbarred nor imprisoned, so the cycle continues

  10. Jackie Griffith-Chase February 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    This is more widespread than we think. It’s extremely frustrating and should not be allowed. Joe public is being ripped off by these avaricious so called lawyers.

  11. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer February 5, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Greed ! Much more to come. Watch out !

  12. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes February 5, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Then ppl does come and preach don’t turn to violence sometimes a little violence helps

  13. Thérèse Fergusson
    Thérèse Fergusson February 5, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Is it so difficult to disbar these fools?

  14. bernard and india walker February 5, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Yea 4 yrs ago. World though god was walking down there street . It was just the hot dog guy.

  15. Kim Kim
    Kim Kim February 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

    As if they don’t charge you enough money already… Dem still got to turn round and steal people hard earned money…. Stupseeeeeeeeeeeee

  16. Annie Allie
    Annie Allie February 5, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Come on there more than one side to a story and we all know how the media operates you don’t judge others because of one bad apple

  17. Annie Allie
    Annie Allie February 5, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Guess we are all demons and criminal in our own way so we shouldn’t condemn others

  18. bajanguyster February 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Retribution is a very funny thing .do unto other as you would have them do to you .for years some people in this country have being saying to the system that we have a lot of people that are in the high offices that a doing a lot of corrupt things.well to you all god don’t sleep and everything have an end to unfair treatment from this system of law to the poor and the no-body

  19. Aldo February 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I,m not surprised about those dishonest lawyers I was charge over 10.000 US $ for closeing of a mortgage,that is when reality hit me about those redicoulous untrustworthy dishonest culprits for lawyers in Barbados,and if you live in the united states they really give it to you a bunch of crooked ass lawyers,i don’t feel sorry for them,mr Carrington should be locked up,for being so dishonest,and send a message to those who think they can treat people any old way and get away with it,i don’t trust none of those lawyers in barbados

  20. Lisa Parris
    Lisa Parris February 5, 2015 at 10:57 am

    The problem is that to do certain transactions, like land purchase etc. we we need to hire these people. If there was another way to do transactions such as these without lawyers I’m sure they would not get a blind cent.

  21. Adrian Hinds February 5, 2015 at 11:06 am

    It will continue until there is an easily available list of lawyers online that persons needing legal services can check against. I keep a list of Barbadian lawyers who have verifiable judgments against them brought by former clients that I will never do business with. I think that Barbadians particularly those in the North American diaspora can benefit from it.

  22. helen February 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    All lawyers are not bad. Most are good honourable professionals. one bad apple-yadda yadda yadda. If in doubt try a law firm rather than a sole trader. and know that wether you like or hate them, they are a necessary part of life.

  23. Maxine Hutchinson February 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Yet another lawyer did an “upstamp” of $22,0000.00″ on my 26th months’ mortgage (2005) in 2007 January and I only became aware of it in December, 2014. That same lawyer was featured in the newspaper about 3 years ago but at that time I knew nothing of that bogus transaction that she had lodged in my name at the Registry. Maybe she figured that she would have been grounded in stone.


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