Jul 29, 2021 News
– Police suspect they forged positive COVID-19 results
Kaieteur News – Alleged Ponzi scheme operators, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and his wife, Ateeka Ishmael, on Tuesday failed to appear in court to answer to 60 new fraud charges that were instituted against them.
Yuri and Ateeka were slapped with the new fraud charges and were expected to appear in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. However, the couple failed to do so on the grounds that they tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
According to a Guyana Police Force (GPF) statement, the couple’s lawyer, Dexter Todd, presented two medical certificates, on their behalf, which reportedly purports that they both tested positive for the novel COVID-19 virus.
However, the police reported that a perusal of the medical certificates by investigators has raised the suspicion that the documents might be bogus. As such, an investigation was launched to determine the authenticity of the medical certificates.
Garcia-Dominguez is a Cuban national who was granted citizenship in June 2020. He and his wife are accused of bilking Guyanese out of millions of dollars. The alleged Ponzi scheme operators are already before the court facing 80 plus fraud charges and two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act. The charges were brought against the couple by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and represented the first time SOCU has instituted charges under the AML/CFT Act.
The AML/CFT Act, Chapter 10:11, prohibits businesses from operating as financial institutions without the necessary registration for regulation and supervision by the Regulatory Authorities, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Guyana Securities Council.
The duo is currently before three different courts facing charges, which allege that they obtain monies under false pretense. They were released on $30M bail after spending over a month in prison on remand.
Garcia-Dominguez and Ishmael are officials of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc., a company that lured thousands of Guyanese to invest their money by promising them a 40 percent profit on their investment. The company also encouraged its investors to enlist others in order to earn a 10 percent commission for each person they enlist.
The “investors” included businessmen and church members, with a number of religious leaders being accused of playing roles in recruiting unsuspecting Guyanese.
Moreover, in June 2021, two agents/marketers for Garcia Dominguez were slapped with money laundering charges.
Aubrey Norton and Martina Seepersaud of Lot 242 Track ‘A’ Coldigen, East Coast Demerara, were slapped with two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act. They too were charged by SOCU. The duo was not required to plead to the charges that were read to them and were placed on $200,000 bail each.
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