In the aftermath of a national election marred by allegations of massive bribery and voter fraud, information has surfaced regarding a major money laundering investigation of prominent Caribbean Island of Dominica attorney Anthony Astaphan, on behalf of his personal client, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. The allegation states that a criminal investigation has been in progress for two years, being conducted by a specific US law enforcement agency, concerning the movement of Skerrit's alleged criminal proceeds.
Astaphan's role in Dominica's dodgy Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, and its illicit sale of diplomatic passports to foreign nationals, in clear violation of the United Nations Vienna Treaty, have been the subject of previous articles on this blog, as has his close personal relationship to the controversial Bird family in Antigua & Barbuda. Leroy King, formerly the leader of Antigua's financial regulator, was recently extradited to the United States, where he faces a potential life sentence for his role in the Allen Stanford billion dollar Ponzi scheme, involving Stanford International Bank. New evidence, obtained in the King case, by a reliable Financial Crime Analyst, confirms Astaphan's role in that scandal as well.
While we know from previous information that PM Skerrit has been under investigation by US law enforcement agencies for some time, this is the first time that his personal attorney has been linked to alleged money laundering operations, including in the United States.
Astaphan is not admitted to the practice of law in the United States, through he is known to reside in the State of Florida from time to time. In any event, the Crime or Fraud Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege states that clients who are engaged in criminal activities with their clients cannot assert the privilege, nor can their attorneys. Our investigation into this matter will continue, and we will report back to our readers on all developments as they occur.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Consultant