“Ponzi Scheme” couple halts repayments after police raid their home

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Attorney at Law Dexter Todd and his client, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez

Days after they began to repay persons who had invested in their failed business operation, which is under investigation for money laundering and is suspected to be a massive Ponzi scheme, the Cuban national and his Guyanese wife have stopped the reimbursement exercise after law enforcement officials raided their home and seized a number of equipment.

The couple, Yuri Garcia-Dominguez and Ateeka Ishmael, who are facing 70-plus charges for obtaining millions of dollar under false pretense, had commenced repaying investors their monies on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Payments continued into the following day; only 27 persons have been refunded to date.

However, police ranks from the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) swooped down on the couple’s home at Coldingen, East Coast Demerara (ECD) on Wednesday, October 15, 2020 and conducted a search.

At the time, the Unit was acting on information that the couple had millions of dollars hidden in their home which is suspected to be proceeds from money laundering.

During a press conference today, the lawyer Dexter Todd claimed that several pertinent devices relating to the refund process, including laptops containing codes to withdraw the bitcoins to process the transactions, have all been seized by police.

As a consequence, he stated that his clients are now unable to continue with the payout process.

The lawyer went on to describe the police’s search as a very unfortunate and sad affair and has signaled his intention of filing a civil rights lawsuit against the State.

Meanwhile, Garcia-Dominguez has made it clear that his company has seized all operations in Guyana as a result of being unable to obtained a license from the Guyana Securities Council. He further maintained that his company is not a Ponzi Scheme.

On behalf of his clients, Todd has filed judicial review proceedings in the High Court asking that all charges and investigations against his client be discontinued immediately.

The case comes up for case management conference on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 before Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George.

In the meantime, the couple has been released on over $30 million bail with instructions to lodge their passports and to regularly report to the CID, Headquarters.