Cuban national, wife who ran Ponzi scheme remain in custody

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The Cuban man and his Guyanese wife who headed a Ponzi scheme designed to swindle hundreds of millions of dollars from unsuspecting Guyanese remain in Police custody and persons are beginning to come forward to tell the Police their story.

Police Headquarters confirmed that they arrested Yuri Garcia Dominguez, 34, and Ateeka Ishmael, 32, of Track ‘A’ Coldingen, East Coast Demerara. They are associated with Accelerated Capital Firm Inc.

Police are probing a case of fraud and are asking persons who may have invested with the Company to make urgent contact with CID HQ on telephone numbers #225-8196 and 225-0575.

On Thursday, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said the Government has received dozens of complaints from members of the public regarding the scheme.

The Guyana Securities Council (GSC) had written to President Irfaan Ali, the Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Commissioner of Police, informing them of the operations of this scheme in the country.

Nandlall met with and received from the GSC a report of the operations of this agency.

In short, the Report described the agency, styled Accelerated Capital Firm Inc. (ACFI), as a “Pyramid or a Ponzi Scheme” that has received hundreds of millions of dollars from thousands of Guyanese.

The Government assembled a high-level team headed by Nandlall, the Commissioner of Police, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Head of the Guyana Securities Council to immediately investigate the operations of ACFI, with a view,  of reimbursing monies to the persons who “invested” in the scheme. Persons with relevant information are invited to assist in the investigations.

In its Report, GSC noted that the business engaged in by ACFI violates several pieces of legislation across the fiscal regulatory architecture.

Currently, Accelerated Capital Firm Inc. (ACFI) is not licensed by the Guyana Securities Council to solicit investments from the public.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act, it is required for all investors to provide the source of funds and ensure that the financial activities and money laundering risks associated with a customer are properly recorded.

The Guyana Securities Council is not in receipt of that information from the application submitted.

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