The principals of Accelerated Capital Firm Inc (ACFI), the company that has been at the centre of a huge suspected Ponzi Scheme, were today slapped with 19 fraud charges. They were ordered to post bail in the sum of $7.9 million.
34-year-old Yuri Garcia Dominguez and 32-year-old Ateeka Ishmael, both residents of Track A Coldingen, East Coast Demerara (ECD), appeared before Magistrate Marissa Mittleholzer in the Vigilance Magistrates’ Court where 13 charges of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretense were read to them.
The charges which were indictable alleged that between May and July 2020, the couple obtained a total sum of $24.7M from 13 victims by false pretense. The duo was granted bail in the sum of $3.9M each. The case is adjourned until September 18, 2020.
Meanwhile, another six of the charges were read to them via Skype by Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrates’ Court. The couple was remanded to prison until September 21, 2020.
Attorney-at-Law Glen Hanoman and Dexter Todd represented Dominguez and Ishmael.
The company came to the limelight earlier this month when several persons made claims of not receiving their monies from the company.
This triggered a full investigation where it was found that the operation has received hundreds of millions of dollars from thousands of Guyanese. In fact, Attorney General Anil Nandllal revealed that the company would have also violated several pieces of legislation.
He added that no bank account was found for the company or its alleged principals, Cuban National Yuri Garcia Dominguez and his wife, Ateeka Ishmael. Further, Nandlall said that records show the company applying for several licences from the Bank of Guyana and the Guyana Securities Council (GSC) to operate here. However, all applications were rejected.
The GSC, having caught wind of the scheme, wrote to the former government, informing them of the development. But no response was provided, Nandlall said.
Dominguez is a naturalized Guyanese, and when the notice was published in the newspaper indicating the authorities’ intention to make him a citizen, the GSC again wrote to the then Citizenship Minister, Winston Felix, about Dominguez and his shady undertakings in Guyana. No response was given, the Attorney General said.
In a press statement on Tuesday, the company pleaded with the authorities to release Dominguez and Ishmael so that payments to clients could resume and for investigators to allow Dominguez to explain “how the company is structured.”
The company said that the funds are “successfully secured in three physical ‘Bitcoin’ wallets, inaccessible to outside interference and protected,” and is asking that the authorities “facilitate the opening of a bank account on behalf of ACFI in order to be able to transfer the funds from our Bitcoin Wallets into the bank which will be used to repay ALL investors in Guyana.”
Nandlall said that the government’s main concern is that Guyanese who handed over their monies to the company get back their cash, and as such, the government is willing to facilitate the bank account’s re-opening.