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Jamaican Ponzi scheme perpetrator wants to be let off early

The former head of Olint, who is serving a six-and-a half-year sentence in Grand Turk on the Turks and Caicos Islands, has made an application to that territory’s parole board for an early release.

Victims of his scheme have until Friday (February 8) to make representation to Hubert Ingham, chairman of the Parole Board on Grand Turk if they have any objection to Smith’s release.

However, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, cheated investors in Jamaica appear more intent on having their calls for recompense heard by their own government. 

Dr Godfrey McAllister, chairman of the Association of Concerned Olint Members, the group that represents defrauded Olint investors in Jamaica, has reportedly said that his group is not concerned about the possibility of the early release of the fraudster. Instead, McAllister said, they want to know what steps will be taken by their government to secure the return of the millions of dollars lost by Jamaicans in the failed scheme before the Financial Service Commission shut down Smith’s operations in 2006..

Smith pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands to two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to defraud.

Under the Turks and Caicos Islands Proceeds of Crime Ordinance, the conviction triggered a mandatory confiscation hearing.

At the hearing, the Supreme Court reportedly calculated Smith’s benefit from his particular criminal conduct in the sum of at least US$220 million, called the recoverable amount.

The former investment manager was able to convince the court that the amount available to satisfy the recoverable amount was US$20.9 million, thus a confiscation order was made in that sum. This included cash gifts totalling US$8.5 million.

Smith has until October 24, 2013, to pay the confiscation amount of US$20.9 million, failing which he will serve a further eight years in prison by default.

Even if he is released, Smith faces another 30-year sentence already handed down in the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida.

Smith had pleaded guilty to 23 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.

Before serving his time in the US, however, he was sent back to Turks and Caicos to face trial.

Reprinted from Caribbean360



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