8 additional charges for “Ponzi Scheme” couple

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Cuban national Yuri Garcia Dominguez, 34, and his Guyanese wife, 32-year-old Ateeka Ishmael, both of Track A Coldingen, East Coast Demerara (ECD) were on Monday slapped with eight additional charges for allegedly obtaining millions of dollars from dozens of people by false pretence. The couple are said to be the principals of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc (ACFI), a company under investigation for a huge Ponzi Scheme.

The duo appeared before Magistrate Marissa Mettelholzer at the Mahaica Magistrate’s Courts. They were remanded to prison.

Particulars of the charges alleged that between May and July 2020, with intent to commit a felony, they conspired with persons known and unknown to obtain a total sum of $7M from seven persons under false pretense. They are to return to court on September 18, 2020.

Already, the couple is facing close to 60 charges alleging that they swindled persons of in excess of $197M. They were granted bail in excess of the $27.8M on 53 of the charges. They were remanded to prison in relation to the others. Their lawyers are Glen Hanoman and Dexter Todd.

Dominguez had claimed that monies collected from Guyanese investors are stored in offshore accounts in several foreign jurisdictions, including Belize, the United States, and Germany. ACFI, in a statement, had said funds are available in its Bitcoin Wallet to refund investors, and asked for authorities to allow them to reopen a bank account to be able to issue the reimbursements.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall had written to his lawyers indicating that the Government is willing to facilitate that request so that Guyanese can get back their money. But Guyanese authorities said they have found no monies in bank accounts in Belize belonging to the ACFI principals.