By Caribbean News Now contributor
ALEXANDRIA, USA -- Two Cayman Islands residents and a Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) attorney were arrested this week for money laundering under an indictment unsealed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Charged with three counts of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money are Eric St-Cyr, a Canadian, and the managing director of Clover Asset Management, a Cayman Islands investment management firm, Joshua Van Dyke, a US citizen who also works for Clover, and Patrick Poulin, a Canadian attorney based in the TCI.
According to the indictment, the three defendants conspired to launder monetary instruments in violation of US law.
Van Dyke and St-Cyr are accused of soliciting US citizens to use their services to hide assets from the US government by creating and advising US citizens to create offshore foundations with the assistance of Poulin and others.
Poulin is said to have established offshore foundations on behalf of US citizens, and served as a nominal board member of such foundations in lieu of the US citizens. US citizens caused money to be wired from the United States to fund the foundations.
Poulin then transferred the wire payments from the offshore foundations to the Cayman Islands, whereupon Van Dyke and St-Cyr invested the money outside of the United States.
“Company C” as referred to in the indictment – presumably Clover – did not disclose the investments, or any investment gains, on behalf of their US citizen clients to the US government. Company C also did not provide monthly statements or other investment statements to their clients. However, clients of Company C were able to monitor their investments online through the use of anonymous, numeric passcodes.
Upon request from US citizen clients, Van Dyke and St-Cyr caused Company C to liquidate investments and transfer money, through Poulin, back to the United States.
On March 7, 2013, Van Dyke and St-Cyr met with three undercover agents in Miami, Florida, one of whom had a pre-existing relationship with Van Dyke and had assumed the identity of a wealthy US citizen who was interested in offshore investing without reporting investment income to US authorities.
The second undercover agent assumed the identity of a financial planner who represented numerous US citizens and the third assumed the identity of a US citizen who was looking for ways to launder criminal proceeds and avoid taxes, claiming to have defrauded a bank in the United States and was looking to move the proceeds of that fraud offshore.
Poulin established a foundation "Zero Exposure Inc." in the TCI and $200,000, said to be part of the proceeds of the bank fraud, was wired to an escrow account of Poulin's law firm in the TCI.
On December 31, 2013, Van Dyke and St-Cyr confirmed receipt of the $200,000 and began to invest and manage the money.
At a meeting on January 16, 2014, Van Dyke and St-Cyr agreed to return the $200,000 in bank fraud proceeds that was transferred through Poulin to the Cayman Islands so that the undercover agents could see how the money would come back into the United States before engaging in further business with the defendants.
On February 3, 2014, Van Dyke and St-Cyr wired $197,115.68 from the Cayman Islands to the TCI and on February 14, 2014, Poulin wired $197,115.68 from the TCI to a US bank for the account of an entity based in Chesterfield, Virginia, within the Eastern District of Virginia.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.