The disgraced broker, a former MD for two Lloyd’s brokerages, has been given the nickname “The Pirate of the Caribbean”
Luxury hotels are locked in a battle to recoup $10m in losses from the ex-employers of a disgraced city broker.
Reported in the Evening Standard, Charles O’Sullivan masterminded a “grossing up” scam which meant clients of the brokerages were charged twice for fees and premiums.
According to court documents, O’Sullivan conned one hotel out of a total sum of $150,000 by wrongly charging a concealed fixed fee on top of $406,000 in brokerage.
He carried out the action while working for Lloyd’s brokerage Besso from 2004 to 2011, then at Bennett Gould and Partners before he was fired for gross misconduct in 2012.
The SuperClubs Consortium, consisting of 14 top hoteliers in and around the Caribbean area, says it was scammed out of millions of dollars. The member hoteliers will join forces in a legal battle against Besso, claiming they are entitled to $10m.
Besso has disputed this figure, and has launched its own action to have the matter thrown out, saying it has no merit and is out of time.
In March 2017, O’Sullivan was found guilty of three counts of discreditable conduct during a Lloyd’s tribunal. He was declared “unfit and unstable,” and was ordered to pay almost £140,000 in costs, which was reduced by £10,000 upon appeal.
But, he was eventually spared the fine due to the impact of being suspended from his £350,000-a-year job.
Lloyd’s said in a market bulletin: “Mr O’Sullivan knew the deception would enable his company to retain far more by way of remuneration than the assured were prepared to allow… dishonestly obtaining remuneration by deception.”
He caused a “financial crisis”
Also, in July last year, a High Court judgement laid bare the full extent of his dishonesty, claiming that his conduct amounted to fraud that left BG&P in a “financial crisis.”
He declared himself bankrupt and flew to Spain before a judge awarded BG&P £1.2m in damages against him for misrepresentation.
”The Pirate of the Caribbean”
Clients in Jamaica described O’Sullivan as “The Pirate of the Caribbean”, while Lloyd’s colleagues widely called him “Charlie O’Dangerous”.
Paul Vincent, director of SuperClubs’ Bloody Bay Hotel in Jamaica, said in a High Court submission last month: “Charles O’Sullivan operated a fraudulent systems without knowledge or consent of SuperClubs.
”Brokerage was wrongfully and fraudulently received and retained… Broadly speaking, this was achieved by ‘grossing up’ or by taking undisclosed commission from underwriters (‘concealed brokerage’), or by similar means.”
He also alleged that Besso had received the “secret profit”.
Besso declined to comment further.
Lloyd’s and O’Sullivan were also unable for comment.
The case will be heard on 22 February.