Following quickly along the heels of the fall of Overseas Locket International Corporation (ONLINT) and related companies operated by convicted fraudster David Smith, the US Department of Justice has announced that investors may be eligible to receive compensation from the government of the United States.
The OLINT Ponzi Scheme
Olint and its subsidiaries were classical ponzi schemes. Smith claimed that the companies were investment agencies that engaged in overseas currency trading on behalf of its investors. This way, members could expect high returns on their investments as profits were earned from such foreign trading. Rather than investing the funds however, Smith used investors’ monies for personal acquisitions and paid current investors with funds from new investments in a pyramid scheme manner.
To this end, Smith laundered over US$200 million from thousands of investors in the United States and the Caribbean — mostly Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and Florida.
Image Credit: www.mellofmjamaica.com
Where Is Smith Now?
Smith was convicted in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida in September 2011 on multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering. As part of his criminal sentence, Smith was ordered to forfeit all assets seized by federal authorities.
In July last year, he was convicted in the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands after pleading guilty to two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to defraud. He is currently facing several lawsuits from those seeking compensation and was also tried and convicted in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he is currently serving a six year prison sentence.
The forfeited funds will be returned to victims of the scheme through a process called remission. In order to be considered for remission, one must submit a petition form to the remission administrator. Copies of the petition are available at the administrator's website: www.gilardi.com/dsmithremissionfund. In order to be considered, the petition form must include all relevant evidence of investments and returns. This means that you must include copies of all supporting legal documentation.
The entity tasked by the US Government to oversee the remission process is Gilardi & Co., LLC. At present, a date for the pay-out has not yet been decided, however only those who invested during the period February 3, 2005 through to July 15, 2008 will be eligible.
Several concerns have been brought up among some quarters regarding the remission pay-outs. This is partially due to the fact that previous attempts have failed. Further, if everyone files a claim, the maximum pay-out could be less than one cent in the dollar as about only US$3.7 million is available for compensation. This means that individuals may receive 1/100th of a fraction of their initial investment. Regardless, others argue that a small pay-out is better than nothing at all.
All in all, authorities are asking first time investors to be prudent in their investments. Consult trained professionals or your financial services agents to confirm investments in future schemes.
Image Credit: jamaica-gleaner.com
If you were an investor in OLINT and need assistance in completing the petition form or if you have any questions about the remission fund in general, you may call 1-877-281-4446; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may visit the remission website at www.gilardi.com/dsmithremissionfund.
By: Norvan Martin