Olint boss in US jail

FORMER Olint boss David Smith was yesterday taken from a Turks and Caicos Islands prison, where he was serving a six-year prison sentence, and flown by United States Marshals to Florida to face a number of charges, including wire fraud and money laundering.

Smith, who was being held in a Florida jail, is expected to appear in US federal court in Orlando as early as today or early next week, to answer to 23 charges, attorney Oliver Smith (no relation), told the Observer yesterday.

“I’m now in Orlando awaiting his arrival. I am hoping that the matter will be listed for hearing tomorrow [today], or the latest Tuesday,” said Smith.

Smith said the move was expected as it was his client’s desire for the process to be expedited.

If convicted, David Smith faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count.

Yesterday, attorney Smith said he was awaiting the disclosure of evidence from federal prosecutors so his client can determine whether or not to fight the charges.

The development comes two months after the former foreign exchange trader was sentenced in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to six-and-a-half years’ imprisonment in relation to his handling of millions of dollars in investors’ money.

Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to defraud. He made the plea, in part, to protect his wife Tracy, with whom he was slapped with a slew of charges on the British territory two years after leaving Jamaica under legal pressure.

Smith, whose assets were frozen in the TCI, is facing several multi-million dollar lawsuits in Jamaica and the TCI from disgruntled persons who were attracted to Olint’s promise of 10 per cent interest per month on their investments.

In the US, federal prosecutors say more than 6,000 people from Orange County, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jamaica and elsewhere invested in Smith’s companies, including Olint Corp, with the promise of a 10 per cent monthly return on the invested sum.

According to documents filed in the US court, it is alleged that Smith failed to invest the money as promised and paid returns to some investors from their own funds, or money paid by later investors.

The court documents also alleged that Smith transferred millions of dollars to his personal bank accounts, which he allegedly used to finance a lavish lifestyle.

Prosecutors are now in the process of identifying and seizing US$128 million, a Windermere, Florida home owned by Smith’s sister, jewellery, gemstones and precious metals and any other items that can be linked to the scheme.

Court documents also claimed Smith had ties with i-Trade FX, a Lake Mary company that was licensed to deal in foreign currency trading.

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