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Antiguan Family launches multi-million-dollar suit against Yida Zhang

The suit alleges breaches of contract, fraudulent conduct, and tortious interference, with the family seeking a staggering USD$850 million in compensation for what they claim is “irreparable financial loss.”

ABSEZ Crabbs site

Yida Zhang, the main shareholder and Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Special Economic Zone (ABSEZ) is likely to find himself back in court with the risk of losing his ownership of a significant portion of the zone due to a breach of contract. 

Heskey Capital LLC, a six generation Antiguan family-owned firm is suing Yida Zhang and his company for “breach of contracts, fraudulent conduct, and tortious interference” for what Heskey says has caused them “irreparable financial loss”. 

Heskey’s lawsuits detail many claims with the major request for a judgment of USD$850 million against Zhang, VISS partner William Matos and their related companies in compensation for financial damages due to their alleged breaches of contract and interference. 

The legal dispute stems from a deal initiated in early January 2022, where Zhang, through his company Yida International Investment Ltd, transferred 797 acres of the 1,607-acre ABSEZ to Heskey Capital. The arrangement required Heskey to secure a funding partner for the development of the country’s first permanent Special Economic Zone. In April 2022, Heskey presented a Letter of Commitment from VISS Ventures Trust of Houston, Texas, USA, committing USD$850 million for the project.

However, according toJustin Simon KC, Heskey’s legal representation, Zhang allegedly breached contractual conditions by holding separate meetings with VISS Ventures Trust and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, with the sole aim of excluding Heskey from participation. The lawsuit contends that these actions have caused substantial financial loss to Heskey, hindering the development of the Special Economic Zone.

The contracts between Zhang and Heskey explicitly prohibited the former from engaging independently with business partners brought to the table by Heskey. Heskey claims that Zhang’s conduct violated these terms, jeopardizing the SEZ development and depriving the people of Antigua & Barbuda of potential benefits.

With a vision to foster development and generate opportunities beneficial to the local community, Heskey Capital says it plans to leverage this land for projects beneficial to the country.

Heskey management has shared that this lawsuit may be extended to include other parties that conspired with Zhang to cause the demise of the plan with VIIS. 

On a separate matter not related to those claims noted above, Searaven Glauben LLC, an affiliated company of Heskey Capital, is suing Zhang for the sum of US$200,000 plus associated costs. 

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Heskey claims Zhang has defaulted and not repaid the money lent to him over a year ago for a short term funding obligation. “This type of behavior seems to be a pattern with the Chinese developer,” the company remarked.  

Zhang has recently lost a lawsuit wherein the plaintiffs, real estate agents Lux Locations, secured a significant multi-million-dollar award for lands they were commissioned to secure on his behalf. 

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