Sep 11, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Yuri Garcia-Dominguez, a Cuban National, who gained citizenship in June 2020 and is accused of running a Ponzi scheme in Guyana, was yesterday placed on $200,000 bail for allegedly faking his COVID-19 test results.
Garcia-Dominguez and his wife, Ateeka Ishmael, both officials of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc. (ACF), have been in the spotlight for quite some time now in relation to allegedly using their company to lure thousands of Guyanese to invest their money by promising them a 40 percent profit on their investment – this led to them being slapped with over 100 fraud charges.
Thirty-five-year-old Garcia- Dominguez, yesterday appeared before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to a charge which alleges that on Tuesday July 27, 2021, at Georgetown, he conspired with his wife and other persons to commit a felony where they attempted to pervert the course of justice, in that they forged one COVID-19 test results to show that he had tested positive for the virus, while knowing same to be false.
The defendant denied the charge and he was placed on bail. He is expected to make his next court appearance on October 5, 2021.
Last month, the defendant’s wife, Ateeka appeared before a City Magistrate and was charged for allegedly falsifying a positive COVID-19 test result. She had made her appearance in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Senior Magistrate, Leron Daly.
Ateeka was slapped with the same charge as her husband. Ishmael denied the charge, which alleges that on July 27, 2021, she conspired with her husband and others to forge a COVID-19 test result to show that she was positive. She was placed on $200,000 bail and yesterday made her second court appearance.
Kaieteur News had reported that the couple was slated to appear in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court to answer 60 additional fraud charges. However, when the matter was called, the couple’s lawyer, Dexter Todd, presented to the Magistrate two medical certificates, on their behalf, purporting that they both tested positive for COVID-19.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) however, was not buying any of it and suspected that the medical certificates were fake. An investigation was then launched to determine the authenticity of the documents. In a subsequent release on the matter, the police stated that, “The investigation has confirmed that the medical documents tendered were falsified.”
Ishmael was first charged and her husband was subsequently charged for the same offence.
Moreover, earlier this week the couple was slapped with 38 charges of conspiracy to defraud, when they appeared in court. The matter was called in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate, Rochelle Liverpool. The couple denied the charges after they were read to them and Magistrate Liverpool placed them on self-bail. The matter was adjourned to October 26, 2021.
According to reports, the couple is accused of bilking thousands of Guyanese out of millions of dollars and is currently before three different courts facing 100 plus fraud charges and two charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act. They were released on $30M bail after spending over a month in prison on remand.
The charges were brought against the couple by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and represented the first time that SOCU had 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.
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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