Bank account was opened for Ponzi scheme accusers to refund Guyanese but they refused – Police
The Guyana Police Force in a statement on Wednesday said that the authorities had facilitated the opening of a bank account on September 4, 2020, at Demerara Bank to allow Ponzi scheme accusers Yuri Garcia Dominguez and his wife Ateeka Ishmael to refund thousands of investors their monies but they refused unless the Police drop the 81 fraud charges against them.
Dominguez and his wife are associated with Accelerated Capital Firm Inc (ACF) and are being accused of swindling millions of dollars from 17,000 persons in a major Ponzi scheme.
The Force debunked several allegations made by the couple’s lawyers Adrian Smith and Dexter Todd.
Todd, at a press conference on Tuesday, claimed that his clients are ready to resolve these matters but have not been given an opportunity to do so as he noted that no computer was made available for them to return millions of dollars to investors.
However, the statement from Police Headquarters clarified that a computer with internet connection was made available but Dominguez claimed it was not convenient to transact his business in prison.
According to the Police, Dominguez further requested access to a computer in a more convenient location after which the following events took place, according to the Police;
- In collaboration with Prison authorities, Mr. Garcia-Dominguez was transported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Police Headquarters in Eve Leary, Georgetown, where he interacted with members of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Units.
- While at the CID Headquarters, the GPF gave Mr. Garcia-Dominguez access to a computer and internet to conduct the transactions necessary to transfer monies into the account at Demerara Bank.
- Mr. Garcia-Dominguez claimed he was still unable to conduct the transactions and requested the use of his cellular telephone. His cell phone was being kept in Police custody while he was in Prison.
- Mr. Garcia-Dominguez was given the use of his cell phone under close Police supervision. It was at this stage that Mr. Garcia-Dominguez informed the Police that he was instructed by counsel Mr. Todd not to conduct any transactions unless the Police promise to withdraw the current charges he is facing.
- The Police then informed Mr. Garcia-Dominguez that they cannot take such action and that such decisions can only be made by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Additionally, the Police stated that several bail applications were made by counsel representing the couple to the High Court before Justice Sandil Kissoon and Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, on September 14, 2020, and bail was refused.
Attorney Todd told reporters at the press conference Tuesday that no approach was made to the High Court for Dominguez and his wife to be bailed.
Meanwhile, the attorneys also filed an action in the High Court to review the 81 fraud charges brought against the couple in recent weeks. The parties to be served are Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, Police Commissioner (ag) Nigel Hoppie and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack.
The couple has been on remand since August 27.