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Smith-Olint intrigue tainted with mischief

Christopher Pryce, Contributor

While the David Smith conviction was fading as yesterday’s news, there seems to be a resurgent interest not only in him, but in the activities of Olint. The confiscation order from the authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands has revealed a list of Jamaican persons and entities that purportedly received funds from Smith/Olint, and this has set the cat among the pigeons.

A recent Gleaner headline screamed ‘No moral obligation to refund Olint money’, with the article indicating that the PNP received US$1 million in August 2007. While the public and online social media are entitled to spend time focusing on the tawdry details and intrigue of our recent infatuations with Ponzi schemes, it may be instructive to comment on some of the legal and regulatory aspects that this case has exposed, from a Jamaican perspective.

To the extent that the activities took place after May 2007, from a local standpoint, the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is one of the key and relevant statutes to be aware of, were one to consider possible criminal, as opposed to civil, violations.