David Smith Arrested – To be Extradited to the USA

On Friday, ABC news via an Associated Press(AP) article had quoted a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Amy Filjones, in the Middle District of Florida,  saying that the U.S. government was “actively seeking to extradite” David Smith from the Turks and Caicos Island(TCI)

On Saturday, the Jamaica Gleaner reported that David Smith had been arrested on Friday, January 23, 2015 on a provisional warrant and will be extradited to the United States of America next week.

Given that David Smith served only little more that four years in  a TCI prison it is will be interesting to see if he will serve 24 or 26 more years in a USA prison.

Why David Smith was released on January 22, 2015 with no arrangements made to have him immediately picked up by the United States Authorities is a question the Turks and Caicos Authorities would have to answer.

While his wife and family might be grateful, many who would have suffered as a result of Olint will be left wondering why?

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David Smith released from prision in Turks and Caicos

The Jamaica Gleaner  reported that David Smith of Olint Fame has been released from prison in the Turks and Caicos  early based on good behaviour . In September 2010, David Smith was sentenced to six and half years in prison in the Turks and Caicos for fraud related charges. In 2011 he would plead guilty in a United States Court to four counts of wire fraud, a count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 18 counts of money laundering, after being indicted in August 2010 (See Document). He was then sentenced to 30 years in the United States.

It is not clear when and if he will now report to the United States authorities to serve the remaining portion of his 30 year sentence. After the United States Trial, in 2011, it was reported that he would serve six and a half years in a Turks and Caicos jail before serving time in the United States.

According to the Gleaner, Oliver Smith his lawyer (of no relation to David Smith) offered no comment when contacted. The Observer seems to believe based on their report that he will extradited to serve at least 24 years in United States prison.

The Turks and Caicos Islands SUN is reporting that David Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Clifton Warner in Grand Turk yesterday.

The David Smith led Olint operations which turned out to be nothing but a Ponzi was reported to have raked in over US$220 Million from over 6,000 direct investors and many more via feeder clubs.

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WorldWise 7 years later – Claims of payment

In a 2013 article the Gleaner reported that the Jamaican cops were seeking the operators of World Wise Partners. The charges to be laid against the operators include operating an unlicensed securities business contrary to Section 7 of the Securities Act; operating as unlicensed investment advisers contrary to Section 8 of the Securities Act; and fraudulently inducing persons to deal in securities contrary to Section 47 (a) of the Securities Act.

Now in 2015, Noel Strachan one of the principals of  World Wise Partners continues to claim that World Wise was not and never was a Ponzi . However, the most interesting statement was that that 90% of investors/partners have been repaid facilitated by some unnamed lawyer(s).

But in a swift response to the Gleaner article, many readers questioned the truthfulness of those statements and pleaded for help. The Gleaner did  not give an idea how many responses were received. Some of the responses, abbreviated, are highlighted below.

  • … I invested a total of US$140,000……I was not able the to get any contact for World Wise or Mr. Strachan.
  • … The reality is that my investment has cost me dearly. I do not have a wife anymore…. You could forward this email to him ….
  • … I am one of those who is yet to recover monies owed by World Wise Partner/Noel Strachan…
  • … He owes me over US$7000 and I (am) aware of many more persons who are still owed monies…
  • … I was robbed of my life savings and I have been out of a job since 2008, and only worked approximately a year and a half since then.
  • … I would like to know if you can get in touch with Mr Strachan for me …
  • … I had some money in World Wise Partners ,,, Please, what can I do? Who can I contact at WWP?
  • … I have invested US$15,000 and I have not gotten back a cent. I have friends with far more than that and they did not get anything up to the time…
  • … I am not calling him a liar, but from the time they closed that place they emailed me once in 2008. I haven’t heard from them since and my email is the same, so are my address and telephone…
  • … The 90 per cent he spoke of, must be his friends. All my co-workers who invested in World Wise are still waiting.

Have you been repaid or lucky to be among the 90%? Leave us a comment here….

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Cash Plus Payday ?

We have learnt that US$75M has been located to pay out immediately and US$15M is to be paid out next week.

If true this would be a massive move for investors who lost so much.

I am however very skeptical and is of the view that this may be Carlos Hill back at his old tricks

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130308/lead/lead1.html

Olint Ponzi’s Boss David Smith gets 30 years

David Smith of OLINT fame today was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was sentenced after being found guilty on 23 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. David Smith was previously sentenced to six and half years in the Turks on Caicos in 2010. David Smith ran OLINT as a foreign exchange (FX) outfit that promised persons high returns that averaged 10% per month.   In reality OLINT  was a massive Ponzi that managed to rake in reportedly over US$220 million from over 6000 investors.

History

OLINT started sometime in 2004 as a quiet members club whose growth depended on word of mouth referrals. By 2006 however the Unregulated Financial Organisation as it was called began to face scrutiny in Jamaica from the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the financial services regulators in Jamaica.  Despite many public warnings by the FSC and leading bankers at the time money continued to flow into OLINT via intermediaries that would become know as feeder clubs and ‘pigs’.

In 2006, after a raid on OLINT and LewFam Investment, they shared adjoining office areas, by the FSC, the club then moved to Turks and Caicos where it operated. David Smith was also connected to TCI FX, a registered company in Turks and Caicos.  OLINT  was registered at different times in Panama and St. Kitts.   David Smith also formed a partnership with the principals of I-Trade  FX (now defunct), a foreign exchange platform owned by the operators of the Market Traders Institute(MTI). In late 2007 the formed a partnership called GotradeJamaica.com and also launched the OLINT foundation.

It has been reported that David Smith was hailed by the FX Chief as one of the greatest foreign exchange traders something that would later turn out to be false.  The National Futures Association investigation in 2009 of  I-Trade FX would show that David Smith/OLINT did little to no FX trading and when they did they lost. The same was fate of Ingrid Loiten of May Daisy apparent attempts at FX trading.

Influence

OLINT was acknowledged to have supported both political parties in Jamaica but the Jamaica Labour Party(JLP) is reported to have garnered significantly more support than the Peoples National Party(PNP). In fact some have argued that OLINT funds had a bearing on the outcome of the Jamaica elections in 2007.  Information available indicate that politicians from both sides of the divide in Jamaica, leading money market experts in Jamaica, doctors  lawyers and the likes are those that invested in OLINT.  One politician, Errol Ennis, a former minister of state in the Finance ministry, described the raid, on OLINT at the time, as a vulgar abuse of power by the state. Audley Shaw the current Finance minister was reported to have said in the Gleaner of January 31, 2007,  that FSC’s  actions against Olint, an entity which offers attractive interest rates, were unacceptable.

OLINT also sponsored the 2008 Jazz and Blue Festival, an annual music festival held in Montego Bay, Jamaica or its environs.

Former heads of the FSC, Byran Wynter, now the present governor of the Bank of Jamaica and George Roper the acting head 2007-2008, took much heat from the public for their strident opposition to the unregistered and unregulated financial operators  or alternative investment schemes as OLINT and others like Cash Plus, May Daisy and Worldwise etc became known as.

Impact on the Diaspora

OLINT word of month referral led to the investments coming from Jamaicans living in the USA, Canada, UK among other countries. The impact of the OLINT crash was particularly felt in Florida often referred to as Kingston 21.

In 2008, after the Ponzi ran into difficulties paying its customers and Money Laundering and other charges surfaced in July 2008, David Smith was arrested in Turks and Caicos  and the famous confession letter surfaced. He was later charged and convicted and subsequently brought for trial in the USA in 2010.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Smith is to serve his sentence in the Turks and Caicos then the rest of time in the United States.

David Smith to be sentenced Thursday, Aug 11, 2011

If  prosecutors have their way David Smith the man who ran one of the largest Ponzi scheme in Jamaica and the Caribbean could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The fall of David Smith’s empire is nothing short of incredible,as at one point in time, if you did not have money in Olint you must have been an idiot. The “club” as it was called was exclusive and if you could not get in you just turned to a “pig” ie you latched unto someone who was already in the club.

The client that he had was some the who’s who in Jamaica and was said to have included some well heeled individual as well as some financial analyst. As Smith await his faith on Thursday, I am amazed at how he appears to have decided to take the full fall and not name his co-conspirators, some of  whom  made a lot more than he did in the fraudulent scheme.

That is so not “cool”. David is like a man in the middle of the desert on a fertile piece of land.

If you get my drift.

 

Update.

Heard the Feds were in the tourist resort last week “cooling”  or was it “staking out”, not sure we will just have to wait until we hear from the District Attorney.

Gleaner calls Olint beneficiaries(JLP/PNP) to repay

With the collapse of the OLINT and the confession by its leader, David Smith, that it was has nothing more than a glorified PONZI, there has been some interesting utterances. The most recent one is from the Gleaner calling for the the ‘Gangs’ of Gordon House to repay the OLINT money. This call is  the most refreshing and is the right thing for the the JLP/PNP as a whole,  members of political directorate and those that benefited to  do.

What about the some Church leaders? Devon Dick in his article ‘Churchs should repent over olint‘, pointed out that these Church leaders need to accept their sorry role in the whole affair, repent and where appropriate repay the ‘profits’.

If they refuse to do so,  court proceeding should be initiated to force them to do so. Simple put those that benefited from OLINT and other Unregulated Financial Organisations should repay.

Interestingly, to this day no charges have been brought against David Smith in Jamaica.

On slightly different but very related note, what is the status of the OLINT feeder clubs, Lewfam etc and their bosses? When will they be drawn before the courts?

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