Zetta Jet’s Geoffery Cassidy charged with embezzling S$11m
Geoffery Cassidy, the co-founder of Zetta Jet, was charged in a Singapore court on Wednesday (October 12th, 2022) with embezzling more than S$11m ($7.6m). The charges come more than five years after the charter company filled for Chapter 11 amid allegations of fraud.
Some 34 charges were made including: criminal breach of trust by misappropriation, forgery of invoices and instigating others to falsely record payments.
Cassidy has always denied any wrongdoing. He has stressed that he personally provided personal guarantees and worked hard to repay creditors after the bankruptcy.
Zetta Jet was founded in 2015 by Cassidy – who was based in Singapore – along with two partners in California. The three later merged a US operator with Asia Aviation Company, founded by Cassidy’s father.
In August 2017, Zetta Jet and two co-founders accused Cassidy of nine serious crimes including racketeering, fraud and false promises. They alleged that Cassidy enriched himself with between $20 million and $30 million of Zetta Jet assets and blamed him for the company’s weak financial state. Zetta Jet filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 and stopped flying on November 30th 2017. This led to an investigation in Singapore and by the FBI in the US.
The Singapore Police say that between 2016 and 2017, Cassidy allegedly misappropriated more than S$11 million from Zetta Jet. He is accused of six counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 406 of the Penal Code. If convicted each charge has a maximum term of seven years and can also includes fines.
He is also alleged to have used more than S$1.4 million of the misappropriated amounts for property-deals. He has been charged with three counts of using the benefits of criminal conduct under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. The maximum sentence for each count is 10 years and a fine of S$500,000.
Cassidy has also been charged with delivering more than US$400,000 to Asia Aviation on five occasions between 25 April 2014 and 27 May 2015 – before it became Zetta Jet. If he is found guilty, the maximum prison terms is 10 years and can include fines for each charge.
Cassidy has also been accused of forging invoices from two overseas companies on 12 occasions and falsifying the accounts of Zetta Jet and Asian Aviation eight times. The maximum prison term, if found guilty, varies between four years and 10 years for each count. Fines can also be imposed.
Cassidy’s ex-wife, “Miranda” June Tang Kim Choo, aged 46, was also charged. She was a director of Zetta Jet between 2015 and 2017 and allegedly failed to use reasonable diligence in her duties by authorising payments of more than S$5m without checking if they were for company purposes. Tang was head of human resources and a director until she was voted off the board in June 2017.
Cassidy was bailed for S$300,000 and will return to court next month.
Cassidy was fined S$4,000 in June, 2019 for verbally abusing a police officer who had been called to Cassidy’s home after he got into an altercation with a dinner guest.
The US FBI has also been investigating Cassidy and has been involved in trying to repossess a yacht that he owned.
The Chapter 11 filing said that Zetta Jet’s largest creditors are: Bombardier ($15.1 million in liquidated damages relating to aircraft orders); Rolls-Royce Corporate Care ($4.1 million); World Fuel Services ($4 million); Universal Fuel ($2.8 million); training company CAE ($2.3 million); HSBC credit card services ($2 million); Scout Aviation for engine maintenance ($1.4 million); Universal Weather ($1.2 million for trip planning); Festin Management for maintenance ($700,000); Chinese fuel company Yoda Aviation ($600,000); parts company Corporate Jet Support ($500,000); and Eurocontrol ($475,000). There were more than 250 creditors in total.
- Six counts of criminal breach of trust under Section 406 of the Penal Code
- Three counts of using benefits from criminal conduct under Section 47(1)(c) punishable under Section 47(6)(a) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act
- Five counts of cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property under Section 420 of the Penal Code
- Eight counts of abetting the falsification of accounts under Section 477A of the Penal Code
- Lastly, 12 counts of abetting forgery under Section 465 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.
The history of Zetta Jet
22/12/2010 James Seagrim and Matthew Walter launch Anglo American Jet Charter in California
29/12/2010 Anglo American Charter acquires Advanced Air Management
12/04/2014 Seagrim, Walter and Geoffrey Cassidy meet for the first time
15/07/2015 Zetta Jet incorporated in Singapore
Cassidy, Seagrim and Walter each hold 33%
08/08/2015 Zetta Jet launches with one Global 5000
The press release says: “Zetta Jet prepares to take flight, setting a new standard in luxury private travel
15/12/2015 Zetta Jet orders one Global 6000
Also has an option to buy a further four
19/01/2016 Truly Great Global incorporated in the British Virgin Islands
20/09/2016 Truly Great Global buys 30% stake
Zetta Jet uses the money to pay deposits on aircraft. The new investor means that Walter has a 23% stake, Seagrim 13% and Cassidy 34%
10/04/2016 Orders two more Global 6000s
At the ABACE show in Shanghai, Zetta exercises options on two Global 6000s and signs an agreement with China’s AVIC Leasing to finance these aircraft.
“This agreement not only strengthens our market position in the Asian aviation market, it also indicates the strong recognition and confidence that AVIC Leasing, a key partner of Zetta Jet and a leading player in China’s financing market, has in the growth potential of Zetta Jet and its business.” said Cassidy.
11/08/2016 Existing companies are merged into Zetta Jet
Advanced Air Management and Anglo American Jet sell all shares to Zetta Jet Pte. Ltd, Advanced Air Management renamed Zetta Jet USA
30/10/2016 Orders four Challenger 650s
Minsheng Financial Leasing orders four Challenger 650 jets which it will lease to Zetta Jet. Bombardier values the sale at $129.4 million at list prices.
17/08/2017 Board meeting in Hong Kong
Seagrim, Walter and Li vote for Cassidy and Tang to be removed from the board. (Tang did not attend.) [/svt-event]
17/08/2017 Michael Maher appointed CEO
05/09/2017 Special board meeting
Seagrim, Walter and Li approve Chapter 11 filing
08/09/2017 Criminal complaint filed
Seagrim, Walter, Zetta Jet PTE and Zetta Jet USA file a criminal complaint at the US District Court in the Central District of California
15/09/2017 Zetta Jet USA Inc files for Chapter 11
19/09/2017 Singapore High Court rules that Chapter 11 should stop
Cassidy and Truly Great Global – whom together hold 64% of Zetta Jet’s shares – get a Singapore Court Order ordering the Chapter 11 process to stop.
30/09/2017 Deadline for Cassidy and Tang to respond to summons
03/10/2017 Proposed shareholding meeting
Date proposed by Cassidy and Li for shareholder meeting to change management
28/11/2017 Shareholder meeting leads to Chapter 7 filing
In a surprise move creditors reject a restructuring plan.
30/11/2017 Zetta Jet stops flying
12/10/2022 Singapore Police charge Cassidy with cheating and misappropriating S$12m.