Jan 08, 2021 News
Three weeks after lawyer says only $3M was repaid…
Kaieteur News – Alleged Ponzi scheme operator, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez, who allegedly bilked over 17,000 Guyanese of US$20M (over G$4B), last evening claimed that he has repaid 85% of the investors. He also claimed that over his two years of operating in Guyana, he paid out over US$94M to his clients.
Garcia-Dominguez made these claims during an interview on a social media platform, Big Smith News Watch. He was asked about the number of persons left to be repaid. Garcia-Dominguez response was that “according to our last checking of the system we have 2,599 persons that haven’t collected yet.”
He is now asking for a few more weeks to pay out the remaining investors.
However, on December 18, 2020, during an interview, his attorney-at-law, Dexter Todd, announced that only a mere $3M was paid out to investors and that the number of investors to be repaid is in the thousands.
A government official close to the investigation last evening insisted that it is highly impossible for Garcia-Dominguez to have repaid almost 15,000 investors within that short period of time, due to the amount of money involved.
Garcia-Dominguez, along with his wife, Ateeka Ishmael, are the principals of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc. (ACF). Both are accused of running a Ponzi scheme.
They had claimed that they were trading in foreign exchange on the international market.
Kaieteur News had reported that the “investors” includes businessmen and church members, with a number of religious leaders accused of playing roles in recruiting unsuspecting Guyanese.
The couple was slapped with 80-plus fraud charges and two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT).The latter charges were laid by the police’s Special Organized Crime Unit.
The couple were released on over $30M bail for all the charges.
In September, Garcia-Dominguez had announced that he would repay the investors. The repayment process reportedly commenced October 12, 2020.
In December, the company had offered to repay its investors in digital money, known as crypto currency.
Crypto currency is a digital method designed to work as a medium of exchange, wherein an individual can do online transactions – the most popular crypto currency is bit coins.
However, Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall, had told Kaieteur News, that the proposed crypto currency repayment method by the principals of ACF is not a legal tender in Guyana.
The Bank of Guyana (BOG) had also stated that Guyana does not use crypto currency.
According to police, Garcia-Dominguez and Ishmael allegedly lured thousands of Guyanese claiming that by investing with their company, persons would get at least 40 percent return.
The company was not recognized by the securities regulator.
The investors were told that the money would be invested in trade of foreign currency and were also encouraged to enlist additional investors on a 10-percent commission basis.
According to reports, the company had never advertised their business in the mainstream media and the company is not registered with the Guyana Securities Council to conduct financial business, as either an investment advisor and/or a broker.
After complaints were made by investors of not receiving their money/returns, the new government launched an investigation into the alleged Ponzi scheme.
This led to the couple’s eventual arrests and a slew of charges.
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