Tuesday, September 9, 2014. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Belizean national, 51 year old Andrew Godfrey, is one of 6 individuals named in an indictment on securities fraud today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Six corporate defendants, including a Belize-registered offshore company, were also named in the indictment.
According to a report on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) website, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch allege that the 6 defendants “devised not only a fraudulent scheme but an elaborate corporate structure based on lies and deceit designed to enable U.S. citizens to evade and circumvent our securities and tax laws.”
According to the indictment, Godfrey, along with Robert Bandield (US), Kelvin Leach (Bahamas), Rohn Knowles (Bahamas), Brian De Wit (Canada) and Cem Can (Canada) are responsible for perpetrating the US$500 million scheme.
The indictment is the culmination of the collaborative effort of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and federal authorities.
U.S attorney Lynch is quoted in the online report as saying that today’s indictment “closes this fraudulent offshore safe haven and sends a strong message to those who seek to abuse the financial markets in order to enrich themselves that we will investigate and prosecute them no matter where they set up shop.”
The multi-count indictment also names corporate defendants as “IPC Management Services, LLC; IPC Corporate Services Inc.; IPC Corporate Services LLC (collectively, IPC Corp); Titan International Securities, Inc. (Titan); Legacy Global Markets S.A. (Legacy); and Unicorn International Securities LLC (Unicorn). According to the online report “tThe charges include conspiracy to commit securities fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering.”
The United States government, according to the FBI website report, will seek the extradition of Godfrey from Belize, as well as the other defendants from their respective countries to face charges in New York.
Furthermore, the online report explains that “as alleged in the indictment, between January 2009 and September 2014, this group of conspirators, masquerading as financial professionals, concocted three interrelated schemes to: (a) defraud new investors in various U.S. publicly traded companies through, among other things, fraudulent concealment of the defendants’ corrupt clients’ ownership interests in the U.S. publicly traded companies and their fraudulent manipulation of artificial price movements and trading volume in the stocks of those companies; (b) aid the corrupt clients to circumvent the IRS’s reporting requirements under, among other statutes, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA); and (c) launder money for the corrupt clients through financial transactions to and from the United States involving proceeds of fraud in the sale of securities. As part of this fraudulent offshore scheme, the defendants laundered approximately $500 million for the corrupt clients—who included more than 100 U.S. citizens and residents.”
To pull off the scheme, the indictment explains that “the defendants created shell companies in Belize and Nevis, West Indies, for the corrupt clients and placed nominees at the helm of these companies.
This structure was designed to conceal the corrupt clients’ ownership interest in the stock of U.S. public companies, in violation of U.S. securities laws, and enable the corrupt investors to engage in trading under the nominee’s names through brokerage firms also set up in Belize.”
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