Fourteen more fraud charges were yesterday read to alleged Ponzi schemers, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and his wife Ateeka Ishmael, bringing the total number of charges against the couple to 66.
Garcia-Dominguez and Ishmael made their appearance before Senior Magistrate Fabayo Azore in the Vigilance Magistrate’s Courts, with their attorneys, Glenn Hanoman and Dexter Todd.
The defendant denied the allegations which stated that between May 2020, and June 2020, they obtained $9M under false pretense.
Magistrate Azore granted the defendant bail in the sum of $800,000, each and the matter was adjourned to November 2, 2020.
Garcia-Dominguez along with his wife appeared before five different Magistrates within the past 12 days. However, the duo was remanded to prison on six fraud charges by one of the Magistrates, when they made their first court appearance.
On Thursday last, the couple was arraigned before Magistrate Dylon Bess in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, where 11 fraud charges were read to them. They denied the allegations which stated that they obtained $75M under false pretense.
Magistrate Bess granted the defendants bail in the sum of $200,000, on each charge and the matter was adjourned to October 7, 2020.
On Tuesday last, the couple made an appearance before Senior Magistrate Azore in the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court. They denied the allegations which stated that they obtained cash under false pretense and Magistrate Azore granted the defendants bail in the sum of $300,000, on each charge and the matter was adjourned to September 21, 2020.
On Monday, August 31, 2020, Garcia-Dominguez and his wife made a virtual appearance before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts where they were made to answer to 10 fraud charges.
They denied the charges which stated that between May and July 2020, with intent to commit a felony, they conspired with persons known and unknown to obtain a total sum of over $60M from 10 persons under false pretense.
After reading the charges, Magistrate Daly granted the defendants bail in the sum of $1M each and adjourned the matter to October 5, 2020.
On Thursday, August 27, 2020, the defendants made their first court appearance at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Melissa Mittleholzer with their attorneys.
Garcia-Dominguez and Ishmael were slapped with 19 fraud charges appearing before two separate magistrates.
Magistrate Mittleholzer read 13 fraud charges to the defendants, which allege that between May and July 2020 the couple obtained a total sum of $24.7M from 13 victims under false pretense.
Magistrate Mittleholzer granted the defendants bail in the sum of $3.9M each and the matter was adjourned to September 18, 2020.
However, the duo then made a virtual appearance before Magistrate Alisha George of the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate George read six fraud charges to the duo – those charges allege that they obtained over $1M from the victims under false pretense. Magistrate George remanded the defendants to prison and the matter was adjourned to September 21, 2020.
The Government recently announced a multi-sectoral investigation against Garcia-Dominguez and Ishmael, who are officials of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc.
The investigation was launched after the authorities said they received a number of complaints against the company.
Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, recently disclosed that the company has little or no assets in Guyana.
According to a letter from the AG to one of the defendants’ lawyers, as a result of multiple complaints received and reports to the Guyana Police Force (GPF), a team of state agencies has been assembled to inquire into the operations of Accelerated.
Reports revealed that over 17,000 Guyanese were in limbo, after investing over US$20M.
A number of the persons reportedly sold their properties or gave their life savings to the company.
Authorities said that they found little evidence of money leaving Guyana via the normal channels for overseas.
Accelerated told investors that it was actively involved in the foreign exchange trading and promised as much as 40 percent returns every few weeks.
However, authorities, including the Guyana Securities Council, the Bank of Guyana and the Financial Intelligence Unit had warned about the operations.
In fact, Accelerated had been operating for about two years but only applied for a broker’s licence a few weeks ago.
There are details emerging that pastors and other religious leaders were actively involved in recruiting clients or new “investors” for Accelerated.
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