Alleged Ponzi schemers face new charges
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ACFI Financial Adviser, Yuri Garcia Dominguez and his wife, ACFI Director, Ateeka Ishmael
ACFI Financial Adviser, Yuri Garcia Dominguez and his wife, ACFI Director, Ateeka Ishmael

ACCELERATED Capital Firm Inc’s (ACFI’s) Yuri Garcia Dominguez and Ateeka Ishmael, on Friday, returned to court to answer fresh charges which were filed by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU.)

The Cuban national and his Guyanese wife, appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court accused of operating a pyramid selling scheme in breach of the Consumer Affairs Act, No. 13 of 2011 and carrying on a business without registering with the Guyana Securities Council, in breach of the Securities Industries Act. Cap 73:04.

The couple, who was represented by attorney-at-law Dexter Todd was released on $25,000, bail on each charge.

The state was represented by prosecutor Corporal Goodridge.

The case was adjourned to November 2.

The couple is accused of soliciting millions of dollars from hundreds of Guyanese who were enticed by extraordinary returns of approximately 40%. Investors were also encouraged to enlist additional investors on a commission (10%) basis.

Accelerated Capital Firm Inc. was not registered with the Guyana Securities Council to conduct financial business either as an investment adviser and/or a broker.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act Cap. 10:11 prohibits businesses from operating as financial Institutions, without the necessary registration for regulation and supervision by the Regulatory Authorities, FIU and Guyana Securities Council.

Dominguez, his wife and their company have been in the limelight since early August, when the company was accused of running a Ponzi scheme. It is alleged that over 17,000 persons have invested over US$20 million in the company.

The couple was arrested in August and released on bail totalling $30 million after appearing in various courts on dozens of charges.

Earlier this week, the couple’s Coldingen, East Coast Demerara (ECD) home was searched by SOCU officials and several items, including computers, other electronic equipment and records were seized.

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