Attorney General Anil Nandlall has offered to facilitate the reopening of a bank account of the operators of the alleged Ponzi Scheme so that they can issue refunds to the thousands of Guyanese who collectively lost millions of dollars after investing in the unregulated business.
Yuri Garcia-Dominguez, the naturalised Cuban national who runs the organisation, along with his wife Ateeka Ishmael, were arrested last week after the government was informed of the illegal operation conducted under the name Accelerated Capital Firm Incorporated (ACFI).
ACFI, in a statement on August 25, said the funds necessary to refund the clients are ready to be disbursed.
In its statement, the company made several requests from the authorities, including to be allowed to reopen a bank account in order to transfer funds from its Bitcoin Wallets to repay all investors.
Nandlall, in a letter to the principals’ attorney Glen Hanoman, highlighted that “I have publicly committed that the State is prepared to do everything that is lawfully possible to facilitate the return to Guyana of the funds…”
“I have already indicated to you that a reopening of one of your client’s closed bank accounts at any of the commercial banks of his choice can be facilitated.”
The Cuban had told investigators that the money was abroad in accounts in the United States, Switzerland, Belize, Germany and Greece. But the Bank of Guyana, the Guyana Securities Council and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) – three of Guyana’s major financial regulators and investigative agencies – say they are unable to locate the money.
Nandlall, who is the Head of the Multisectoral Task Force established by the government to probe the suspected Pyramid Scheme, told Attorney Hanoman that “you are free to inform me of any other measures, excepting the release of your client from police custody during the investigations, which may assist in the return of the funds to the jurisdiction.”
The Attorney General, in his letter, pointed out that the releasing of the suspects from custody is not an option since the Guyana Police Force considers them to be grave flight risks.
Nandlall explained that the police investigations have so far revealed that ACFI has received over US$20M in alleged investments from Guyanese, and that the principals of the company “have little or no assets in the jurisdiction; in consequence, thereof, they both remain grave flight risks.”
Moreover, Nandlall explained that “the issue of bail and matters relating thereto remain in the exclusive remit of the agencies of the State, over which I exercise no influence, whatsoever.”
See full letter from the Attorney General:ACFI Letter
See full statement from ACFI: