OVERSIGHT BOARD PUBLISHES DEBT INVESTIGATION REPORT
Special Investigation Committee to hold public hearing in Puerto Rico September 18, 2018
(San Juan, PR – August 20, 2018) – The Special Investigation Committee of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (the “Oversight Board” or the “Board”), announced today the publication of the Debt Investigation Report (“the Report”) prepared by Independent Investigator, Kobre & Kim LLP. The Report, which is just under 600 pages long, includes the results of its investigation into Puerto Rico’s debt and its connection to the current fiscal crisis. The Oversight Board’s Special Investigation Committee also announced it will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, in Puerto Rico, to give interested parties an opportunity to hear and be heard regarding the results of the Report.
On August 2, 2017, the Oversight Board announced its intention, pursuant to its authority under the bipartisan Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”), to conduct an investigation to review the fiscal crisis and its contributors, and examine Puerto Rico’s debt and its issuance, including disclosure and selling practices. To that end, the Oversight Board named a Special Investigation Committee composed of Members Ana Matosantos, David Skeel and Arthur González, and conducted a competitive process—including a request for proposals—to identify and select an independent firm of the highest caliber to conduct the investigation. The Special Investigation Committee engaged Kobre & Kim LLP as the Independent Investigator on September 1, 2017.
Kobre & Kim LLP is a well-recognized, conflict-free firm focusing on disputes and investigations with highly-regarded expertise in the fields of asset tracking and recovery, investigations and monitorships and insolvency. Its selection was based, among other factors, on its professional qualifications, including its relevant experience in conducting investigations and monitorships, its ability to conduct a review of evidence in both English and Spanish, its knowledge and experience in securities law and the municipal bond market, its knowledge of government budgeting and fiscal management, its knowledge and experience in insolvency and asset tracking, and its independence as a conflict-free firm.
“The 10-month investigation involved an extensive evaluation of evidence from many sources. We conducted over 100 witness interviews and reviewed voluminous productions of documents in both English and Spanish,” said John Couriel, of Kobre & Kim. “Confidentiality was a key component of the investigative process, including negotiations with witnesses and the Title III Committees regarding cooperation and sharing of materials, as well as the Title III Court’s approval and enforcement of procedures for the treatment going forward of materials collected as part of the investigation. It was an independent process overseen by the Special Investigation Committee of the Board,” added Farrington Yates, also of Kobre & Kim.
The Report is already available here.