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GERS Chairman Comes Clean on Prosser's Secret Letter to Bankruptcy Court

Dec. 5, 2006 The most recent letter shrouded under the Prosser veil of secrecy turns out to have been signed by the chairman of the board of the Government Employees Retirement System.
Following a Source story published Monday about yet another attempt by Jeffrey Prosser to convince the Bankruptcy Court to give him more time to come up with the money to satisfy a settlement agreement with two of his creditors, Carver C. Farrow issued a statement saying that GERS was the "governmental purchaser" referred to in Prosser's most recent filing (See "Proposed 'Governmental Purchaser' Interested in Buying Prosser's VI. Properties, Prosser Says").
He did not include a copy of the letter with his release.
Farrow, who is chairman of the GERS Board of Trustees, issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon saying, "[GERS] has sent a confidential letter of interest to Mr. Jeffrey J. Prosser of Innovative Communications Corporation."
Farrow said his action was consistent with what he told the Senate Committee of the Whole on Dec. 1.
"My statement to the Committee of the Whole explained that the majority of the GERS Board of Trustees were interested in conducting a proper due diligence of the possibility of purchasing Innovative Communications Corporation."
During Friday's Senate meeting, however, Farrow also told senators that conducting the "proper due diligence" would cost the system "much more" than the $300,000 recently proposed by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
In response to questions from Sen. Juan Figueroa-Serville about the possibility of GERS purchasing Vitelco, Farrow added that the system "could not possibly afford" to acquire the company, but would be able to manage it if Vitelco is bought by the government.
Late last month, Turnbull sent a bill to the Legislature asking for a $300,000 appropriation from the General Fund to conduct a feasibility study on whether the purchase would be in "the best interest of the territory." However, senators unanimously voted to hold the bill in committee until further notice.
Farrow said in his statement, "No commitment or other statements has been made which binds or obligates the GERS to purchase Innovative Communications Corporation."
The statement made by Prosser — under oath to the Bankruptcy Court — said the confidential letter expressed interest in acquiring "the key telecommunications operations of the debtors Virgin Islands subsidiaries, for a purchase price that would provide the debtors with sufficient funding to perform their obligations under the settlement agreement."
One investment specialist speculating on Tuesday that GERS was indeed the "governmental purchaser" in question said it would be foolish for GERS to even think about running a phone company.
He said making an investment and running a phone company were two different things.
Farrow said that further information on the retirement system's intent would be made public once due diligence was completed.
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