Naturalized St. Vincent national Dave Ames jailed for gigantic Ponzi scheme”
The Britain-born, St. Vincent and the Grenadines naturalized citizen, Dave Ames, has been sentenced to 12 decades in jail for running what a choose described as a “gigantic Ponzi scheme” in the Caribbean.
Ames, the former chairman of Harlequin, the company that owned the previous Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is also wanted in the Caribbean island on tax evasion and theft charges.
He was sentenced in the British courtroom to 9 yrs for just one count of fraud by abuse of place and a few several years for yet another depend. The sentences will run consecutively.
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Past month, the Significant Fraud Office environment (SFO) in the United Kingdom productively prosecuted Ames, who was behind the fraud involving celeb-endorsed luxury resorts in the Caribbean, together with Buccament Bay Vacation resort.
In handing down his sentence on Friday, Justice Christopher Hehir described Ames as a “slick salesman and totally dishonest with it”
He stated that Harlequin’s sales substance was “full of ambiguous, fake, and misleading promises in his title.
“The prosecution was cautious not to use the word just before the jury, but the plain fact is that from January 2010 the operation was a gigantic Ponzi scheme and could only hold heading by attracting new investors and you realized they would pretty much inevitably reduce every little thing.
The choose said Ames experienced no appropriate working experience getting into the assets organization, noting “you had bought back garden household furniture and double glazing and been in the mortgage business enterprise but have been 2 times declared bankrupt, a truth you did not easily declare to individuals whose funds you were being immediately after.
In presenting its case, the FSO explained a jury at Southwark Crown Courtroom observed Ames, 70, guilty of two counts of fraud by abuse of placement. He supplied no evidence in his protection.
An SFO investigation uncovered how Ames deceived around 8,000 British traders in the Harlequin Team, a hotel, and resorts development undertaking. Victims were being led to imagine they experienced a protected investment in a home whereas, in truth, Harlequin Group was never functioning as promised, the press release mentioned.
The enterprise model relied on investors paying out a 30 p.c deposit to acquire an unbuilt villa or resort place, fifty percent of which went towards service fees for Harlequin and related salespeople, even though Harlequin put the remaining 15 percent towards development.
Traders had been fraudulently explained to that the building of the attributes would be even more funded by exterior financial backing. With no added supply of funding, a few properties needed to be ordered to finance just one particular of the luxurious lodging models.
This led to the exponential enlargement of the scheme, the diversion of investor income concerning resorts and a funding shortfall of over 1.2 billion lbs . (1 British pound=US$1.11 cents) by 2012 — 7 years immediately after Ames released the scheme.
During the full eight-12 months challenge, only 28 of over 8,000 buyers ever concluded on a acquire, leaving effectively in excess of 99 % with no return on their expenditure. The Harlequin Group missing a full of 398 million pounds of trader resources.
In 2020, the government acquired the previous Buccament Bay Resort, which was closed in December 2016, and marketed it, as properly as additional bordering lands to the Jamaica-centered Sandals Vacation resort Global for US$17.5 million.