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FCPA Blog Daily News

« Orthofix reports Brazil payments to DOJ, SEC | Main | Dispatch from the Wittgenstein Villa »
Tuesday
Mar252014

Two offshore bankers and a lawyer charged with helping Americans hide assets

A DOJ and IRS sting resulted in the arrests of two Caribbean-based bankers -- an American and a Canadian -- and their Canadian lawyer for conspiracy to launder money and hide the identities and assets of U.S. taxpayers.

The three defendants were arrested on March 12 in Miami, the DOJ said Monday.

U.S. citizen Joshua Vandyk and Canadian Eric St-Cyr worked for Clover Asset Management -- an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands that St-Cyr had founded. Canadian Patrick Poulin was a partner in the law firm Bishops based in the Turks and Caicos.

According to the DOJ, Vandyk, St-Cyr, and Poulin offered to help U.S. citizens hide assets and avoid taxes.

U.S. law enforcement agents posing as American clients were directed by Vandyk and St-Cyr to create offshore foundations with help from Poulin so the investment firm wouldn't look like it dealt with U.S. clients.

The undercover agents told Vandyk, St-Cyr, and Poulin the money came from bank fraud, so the clients wanted to conceal the nature, location, source, and ownership of the funds.

The indictment alleged that Poulin created an offshore foundation for these "clients" and wired payments from the offshore foundation to the Cayman Islands. Vandyk and St-Cyr then invested the money outside the United States in the name of the offshore foundation.

The investment firm said it wouldn't disclose its clients or their gains to the U.S. government, or send the clients any investment statements.

The DOJ said the firm's clients could monitor their investments online through the use of anonymous, numeric passcodes and liquidate their accounts on request.

VanDyk was released on $250,000 bail, according to reports. St-Cyr and Poulin remain in custody.

The DOJ's March 24, 2014 release is here.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.