With all the hoopla. surrounding the European Ponzi schemer, Pedro Fort Berbel, safe in his Dominica hideout, the articles about his case have failed to dwell upon one important fact: several prominent financial institutions, located in the Commonwealth of Dominica, accepted large deposits from the master Ponzi schemer, even after his Ponzi ways were public knowledge.
DIRTY & STOLEN MONEY FROM PEDRO FORT BERBEL
The seizure actions, filed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), have identified those banks, which obviously conducted zero Due Diligence upon the funds, or did not care at all that they were taking criminal proceeds (Willful Blindness). The fact that the money was coming from the fraudster, and going into attorney accounts (designated as trust accounts ??) does not let the banks off the hook.We are talking about millions of US Dollars here.
(1) National Bank of Dominica.
(2) Royal Bank of Canada, Dominica.
(3) The Bank of Nova Scotia, Dominica.
Note that there were also, the year prior, large deposits made by Fort, into First Caribbean International Bank, in Dominica.
Irrespective of whether the United States brings money laundering charges, compliance officers at North American banks that send or receive wire transactions from Dominica might want to institute a policy of Enhanced Due Diligence upon any substantial wire involving the above banks or branches, as the Ponzi schemer is still at large, and well protected by the government in Dominica. he may have other accounts, or use attorney accounts as fronts.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant