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Priority to Olint’s US investors

BY DESMIOND ALLEN Executive Editor — Operations ?allend@jamaicaobserver.com
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

UNITED States-based investors in the Olint entities will get first bite when the funds are released, the US Government has said. The federal government also announced it was extending the deadline for Olint investors to submit claims for recovery of their funds, portions of which are frozen.

A new deadline has not yet been indicated by the US Attorney’s Office handling the matter but victim-witness specialist Elizabeth Medina, who is receiving claims, said investigators needed more time to review the information and for her office to properly advise the court regarding victims’ status.

In a letter to investors, Medina said “the federal government is continuing to investigate the operations of all these (Olint) entities and is working to recover funds to return to injured investors”.

But Medina stressed that the United States could not release any seized funds to victims “until there is a resolution and an order of forfeiture entered in the United States’ favour”, an indication that investors based in the US are first in line to get the funds.

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Thriving alternative investment schemes offering upwards of 10 per

cent interest per month suddenly crashed in mid-2008, following local and international action that resulted in the freezing of investment funds estimated to run into billions of dollars.

The biggest trader to be hit was Olint TCI operated by Jamaican David Smith. But the fall of that outfit dragged down many feeder agents who had been collecting money from “members” and investing it with Olint.

Known widely in Jamaica as unregistered financial organisations (UFOs), the investment arrangement, eventually discovered to be a Ponzi scheme, duped even religious organisations, two of the most wellknown being LEWFAM and Faith International Investment.

Smith pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 18 counts of money laundering on March 20, 2011, as part of a plea agreement in the Federal District Court of Orlando, Florida. Sentencing is set for June 16, 2011.

The Jamaican Government assisted with information in the case which was investigated by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Medina invited investors in Smith’s Overseas Locket International Corporation (“OLINT”), OLINT Corporation, OLINT TCI and TCI FX Traders to contact her office at usaflm.david_smith_ponzi@usdoj.gov where they should fill out a form asking for details of their investment.

In the letter to investors, Medina said: “Once I’ve entered your contact information in the Victim Notification System, you will receive further updates regarding the case.”

Victim Information Sheet requires information such as:

• E-mail address, daytime telephone number and mailing address of investor.

• Name of entity to which funds were sent for investment and date(s).

• Amount invested in OLINT, OLINT Corporation, OLINT TCI, TCI FX Traders, Ltd or feeder club (US dollars).

• If applicable, name and address of operator(s) of feeder club.

• Description of how investor deposited his/her funds, eg personal cheque, money order, wire transfer, and documentary evidence of such payments.

• List of all withdrawals, redemptions, and encashments made in any form out of investor’s account(s), whether transferred, transmitted or paid by another party.

• Description of how investor learned about David Smith.

• Name of the person(s)/entity who solicited investor to invest with David Smith.

• Copies of any documents investor received from OLINT, OLINT Corporation, OLINT TCI, TCI FX Traders, Ltd, or its representatives.

Medina can also be reached at the US Attorney’s Office, 501 W Church St, S300, Orlando, Florida 32805.

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