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Angling Report subscribers, as a group, tend to pursue their passion with more than ordinary vigor. Over the years I have traded e-mails with subscribers who have bought fly rod companies, invested in booking agencies, and helped individual guides buy boats. Some of these projects have worked well enough to provide years of enjoyment and even modest returns on investment. More commonly, however, these efforts have failed to bear fruit. But so what? The initial investment was typically not very large and trying was a lot of fun.
That is not the case with subscriber John Trayser, who has labored mightily and spent heavily to realize a dream in the Bahamas, only to have his project fall into limbo. He asked that we publish the following summary of what he has endured in hopes that a fellow subscriber with the right connections or insights can help him. With a favorable Supreme Court ruling behind him, I suspect there is a way forward if publicity and the proper pressure can be exerted. Read on and see if you can help. If you reply to John Trayser’s call for help and you feel comfortable doing so, please copy me at [email protected].
“I built a bonefish lodge 11 years ago at the invitation of some brothers who said they owned a piece of property on a beautiful flat on one of the best fishing islands in the Bahamas. It is beautiful and bonefish are plentiful 50 feet out the front door of the lodge. There was one small problem. The brothers didn’t own the land. A representative from Crown Lands & Surveys showed up after the lodge was finished and started measuring the buildings to see what had been built on government property. The phone call informing me of what had happened was very painful.
“Fast forward 11 years. It took seven years, three law firms, and seven different attorneys just to get this matter before the Bahamian Supreme Court. I won! The brothers were convicted of fraud and still owe me money from that ruling. I have a letter from Crown Land & Surveys saying that they are waiting for the court to make some kind of secondary ruling before awarding the land involved in the project. I have now been told I have a ‘political problem’ not a legal problem. This is where I need someone’s help.
“Do any fellow subscribers know someone in our government or banking system who can make the Bahamian government realize that their treatment of me and my investment sends a bad message to future U.S. investors? I won in their Supreme Court, which is relatively unheard of, I’ve been told. I cannot give up at this point because I have done everything I promised since day one. I will be forever grateful if someone can heal the wound that has broken my heart. Can you help? Write John Trayser at [email protected]. Tel. 406-209-7383.”