Caribbean Ponzi Schemer to be extradited from TCI.........
DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW - Monte Friesner
< 24 September 2010 >
The United States of America is seeking to extradite accused Ponzi schemer David A Smith, the principal behind the failed unregulated financial organization OLINT, also known as Overseas Locket Corporation, from the Turks & Caicos Islands, where he has been charged with money laundering and multiple frauds.
Smith is alleged to have fleeced Jamaican investors of more than $300m in a foreign exchange scheme that promised returns of 10% per month, and American-based feeder funds are believed to have collected hundreds of millions of dollars more from Jamaican expats living in the US.
Jamaican nationals with no investment background drew out their savings to invest in what was represented to them to be a high-yield investment programme (HYIP). The economic fallout in Jamaica was devastating. The Jamaica Financial SA Services Commission issued a Cease & Desist order against OLINT on 24 March, 2006. David A. Smith with several accomplices moved their operation to Turks & Caicos and thereafter operated in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Smith has been charged in US District Court in Orlando* with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering to conceal a specified unlawful activity. The court file indicates that Information, not an Indictment, was filed in his case, which indicates he is cooperating with law enforcement.
He also reportedly visited indicted Ponzi schemer Allan Stanford several times in Antigua, and he could be a cooperative witness for the US Government against Stanford. That might explain his cooperation.
Jamaican media sources advise that the United States is investigating 15-20 Jamaican nationals for their involvement in the OLINT case, and additional extraditions are expected. Jamaica recently disclosed information to the US under their existing MLAT agreement. Wachovia Bank, who, according to the Complaint, allowed Smith to wire millions of dollars out of Jamaica when he was already under investigation by Jamaican regulators, is also being investigated by US law enforcement. Civil suits are pending in the United States.
* United States vs. David A Smith, Case No.: 6:10-CR-232-ORL-35-DAB (MD FL).
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