Home » Where is the cash? Several infamous fraud instances from Jamaica

Where is the cash? Several infamous fraud instances from Jamaica

Where is the cash? Several infamous fraud instances from Jamaica

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Documentary image of Carlos Hill’s arrest.


As details of the Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) fraud scam continue to emerge, Jamaicans are glued to their televisions. Many have begun to question what will happen next and if anybody will be held responsible as more information comes to light.

In light of this, TalkUpDiTingsDem News thought back on some of the island’s most well-known fraud instances throughout the years.

After his arrest in April 2008, former Cash Plus CEO Carlos Hill was put into a police car.


Cash Plus Limited


With the promise of a 120% return on investments, Carlos Hill’s Cash Plus Limited, which started operating in Jamaica in 2002, attracted the interest of thousands of investors. However, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in 2007 that Hill had until December to provide specifics on his holdings. Investors were beginning to realize that the window of opportunity for receiving a return on their investment had closed.

Hill was detained in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he was officially charged with defrauding investors. Additionally, it was believed that Hill and his brother Bertram had hidden $25 million at a Swiss bank in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Prosecutors announced in November 2016 that several witnesses in the fraud case against Hill could not be found and that the Cash Plus CEO was cleared of all charges owing to a lack of evidence after eight years of court delays and bail extensions.

According to accounts, Cash Plus investors never got compensation for the money they lost in the multibillion-dollar investment scam.

David Smith

Investment Plan Olint


David Smith began the Olint Investment Scheme in Jamaica before it was shut down by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in March 2006. Shortly after, he reportedly began operating in the United States and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Investigation revealed the investment plan to be a ponzi scam, which Smith later said was how he supported his opulent lifestyle. According to reports, more than US$220 million was stolen from Olin’s approximately 6,000 investors in the United States and the Caribbean.

Olint’s donations were also said to have benefited Jamaica’s two main political parties.

Smith admitted guilt to 18 charges of money laundering, four counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and on August 11, 2011, the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

He was nonetheless transported to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he had already received a six-year term after entering a guilty plea to conspiracy and fraud charges. Smith would serve 24 years in a US jail since the 30-year sentence was served concurrently with the time spent in prison in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Investigation revealed the investment plan to be a ponzi scam, which Smith later said was how he supported his opulent lifestyle. According to reports, more than US$220 million was stolen from Olin’s approximately 6,000 investors in the United States and the Caribbean.

International Partners


In 2007, shortly after Cash Plus and Olint, an unlicensed investment scam called World Wise Partners appeared.

But when the FSC issued World Wise with a cease-and-desist order after promising investors a 200% annual return on their money, many individuals joined the investment organization and eventually lost more than $200 million.

The creator of World Wise, Noel Strachan, and his family had moved to the US before the FSC could execute the order, though.


It is unknown if Strachan was ever charged, despite the fact that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, stated that Strachan and his wife Judy should face fraud charges and the Jamaican police requested assistance from their international partners to find the owners of World Wise.
Years later, Strachan maintained that World Wise Partners was a Ponzi scam and claimed that at least 90% of investors had received their money back. These reports, however, were unconfirmed. In addition, Strachan denied utilizing funds from World Wise investments to support an opulent lifestyle in the US, which was said to include a private plane.

Loom

Several Jamaicans joined Loom in 2018 because it offered up to 300 percent returns on investments. To keep the Loom wheel turning, the Loom operators mostly used social media and WhatsApp to attract consumers.
Loom asked investors to put up a minimum of $5,000 and recruit two more participants. The Loom’s owners then assured investors that they would get returns of up to $20,000 after one week.
Just one month after the FSC warned Jamaicans to stay away from get-rich-quick scams, the Loom slowed for some and stopped altogether for others, costing them thousands of dollars.
The bulk of the investors attempted to contact the Loom operators in an effort to recover losses, however, they were mostly met with unreturned messages.

It is yet unknown if anyone has been charged with this plan.

Andrea Gordon

Andrea Gordon, a former manager of NCB


Andrea Gordon, a former senior manager of National Commercial Bank, admitted to stealing over $34 million from the business.

According to reports, the bank learned that she was involved in fraudulent operations in 2020, which led to the discovery of her illegal activities. Following an inquiry, it was found that Gordon had moved funds from the bank’s internal accounts to her own personal accounts, those of her family, and client accounts.

Investigations also showed that Gordon used the funds to support her lifestyle and carry out home improvements, despite telling authorities that she had taken the funds to help a cancer-stricken relative and that she had run into financial difficulties after beginning to build her home in 2017.

Investigations, according to the court’s claims, showed that Gordon recorded around 282 questionable transactions for a total of $111,262,660.21. Between February 2017 and May 2020, the trades were completed. She was only charged with a $34 million crime, though.

For fraud, Gordon received a jail term of seven years and six months.

Joint Plans

Jamaicans like partner plans and many of them have used this unofficial method of saving to create respectable lives for themselves and their families. But quite frequently, the schemes fail because of a member’s dishonesty, costing enormous sums of money.

Each participant in a partner plan makes regular contributions of a certain amount, and the total money is then distributed to one participant as a “draw.” Each participant gets an opportunity to pick up a draw.

However, there have been several allegations of members withdrawing all of the money placed, breaking off communication with the plan’s depositors, or lending the money to people outside of the partner plan who then default on the loan.

The courts have heard several of these instances.




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