Accused Ponzi scheme couple back in court for twelve more charges

Ponzi scheme couple, Yuri Garcia Dominguez and his wife, Ateeka Ishmael, have been slapped with an additional 12 charges of conspiracy to commit a felony.

The couple appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore, at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, where they were granted bail in the sum of $300,000 on each of the 12 charges.

They are scheduled to return before the court on September 21.

Dominguez, a 34-year-old naturalized Guyanese of Cuban origin, and his wife Ishmael, 32, both of Track A, Coldingen, East Coast Demerara, are part of a company which is alleged to have operated a Ponzi scheme here.

On Monday, the couple were brought before the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, for an additional 10 charges and were granted bail in the sum of $1million each.

They are scheduled to return to court on October 5, when the matter will be called again.

Last Thursday, the duo appeared before two Magistrate’s Courts where they were faced with 19 charges of conspiring with other persons to obtain monies by false pretence.

Magistrate Melissa Mittelholzer, attached to the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, had granted the two defendants bail in the sum of $3.9 million each.

They are expected to make their next appearance on September 18.

However, when the couple appeared that same Thursday before Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, they were refused bail on the other six charges.

They were remanded to prison until September 21.

The couple are represented by attorneys-at-law Dexter Todd and Glen Hanoman.

Dominguez and Ishmael were taken into police custody on August 20 for questioning amid growing complaints from persons who had subscribed to the scheme.

The Guyana Police Force in a statement had said that they were detained as part of an ongoing investigation of alleged fraud.

They have been accused of operating a Ponzi scheme with approximately 17,000 Guyanese having lost hundreds of millions of dollars after investing with the unlicensed company.

Police Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said that the police had obtained a total of sixty-nine statements from investors who reached out to the Criminal Investigation Department. These individuals had seventy-seven transactions amounting to $135 million, Blanhum disclosed.

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