Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Sharon Lexa Lamb in Cuba.

Law enforcement agencies in the United States estimate that there may be as many as one hundred and twenty-five Westerners, who are fugitives from justice, residing in the Republic of Cuba, where they are immune from extradition, so long as they do not commit new crimes there. Sometimes, they have ben referred to as the "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," due to a similar relocation tactic, employed by two celebrated outlaws*.  Sharon Lexa Lamb, who reportedly is a key participant in the Bateman Capital trading scandal, and faces possible criminal prosecution for money laundering, grand theft, and fraud, may soon be one of them.

Miss Lamb recently married the Cuban national, José Fernandez Santana, which affords her the right to reside in Castro's Cuba. Reliable sources, with first-hand knowledge of the relationship, have pointed out that her marriage was strictly one of convenience, made solely for business purposes. It affords Ms. Lamb the prized ability to purchase Cuban real estate, and make other investments there. She has been a regular visitor to Cuba this year.

The happy couple
Investigators fear that Lamb, together with her associates, Derek Buntain, and Fernando Moto Mendes, have transferred liquid assets of some of Canadian & American investors into Cuba, without their knowledge & consent, and made purchases there. Should the assets of any US citizens, or residents, be found to have been used to make investments inside Cuba, there will be serious OFAC violations, which could result in multi-million dollar civil fines and penalties, and even possible criminal prosecution, in the United States. It could also result in the permanent imposition of OFAC sanctions.

Reports from Grand Cayman indicated that Sharon Lamb traveled to Cuba, when the initial flap over the Bateman scandal broke recently; was she laying the groundwork for relocating permanently to Cuba ? We cannot say, but we will be closely monitoring the progress of all of the criminal investigations, and any civil litigation that is brought by the victims.



Ignacio Fabrega, the former Panamanian Superintendent of Securities, who disappeared while out on bond for criminal charges, has been taken into custody. Fabrega dropped out of sight five months ago, after a judge agreed to conditions of release, a decision which was immediately appealed by prosecutors, and reversed, but by then the former official could not be found.

Fabrega has reportedly admitted that it was he who improperly gave inside information to Financial Pacific (FP), the investment company which orchestrated the multi-million dollar insider trading scandal, whereby many government ministers, and then-President Ricardo Martinelli, reaped huge profits, by trading in the securities of Petaquilla Gold Mine, based upon confidential information about the company.  The defendant also admitted killing the subsequent investigation into improprieties and illegal conduct, by FP, following the instructions Martinelli, and former Minister of Tourism, Salomon Shamah.

It is common knowledge that Fabrega received large bribes, to quietly dismiss investigations into securities fraud, insider trading, the illicit sale of bogus securities to investors, and many other financial crimes. under his watch, enforcement of Panamanian securities law ground to a halt, but his close relationship with Ricardo Martinelli protected him, so long as Martinelli was in office.


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has again proposed requiring investment advisers to comply with AML regulations, including the filing of CTRs, and Suspicious Activity Reports. If you have not already seen the complete text of the proposal, you may access it here*. Will it change the way hedge funds conduct business ?
*Anti-Money Laundering Program and Suspicious Activity Report Filing Requirements for Registered Investment Advisers

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


If you have been closely following our articles covering the unfolding Caribbean financial scandal, involving the illegal diversion of funds of as many as seventy retired and handicapped Canadian senior citizens, for the purpose of using client money to conduct unauthorized trades, and keep the profits, the entire scheme was orchestrated and run by a major Canadian investment firm, located in Ontario.

The illegal diversion of client money, by Fernando Moto Mendes, Sharon Lexa Lamb, Ryan Bateman, and Derek Buntain, was accomplished under the supervision of the Canadian investment advisers entrusted with safeguarding their clients' life savings. Some estimates of the total amount of client funds missing exceed USD$400m. Only a portion was transferred to Bateman Capital; some funds were diverted elsewhere.

Investigators have now confirmed that the offshore financial institution where the Canadian advisers, and their Caribbean conspirators, have long stated that client funds were on deposit, have no records that the clients ever had any funds in that bank, notwithstanding that verbal and written assurances were given to the clients. Numerous complaints, from Canadian investors who are unable to access their funds, have been received by regulators in the Caribbean jurisdiction where a large portion of the money disappeared.

While we are not identifying the Canadian investment firm at this time, some of its staff and officers were formerly employed at a prominent financial services company, and were reportedly asked to leave, after being implicated in a stock manipulation scheme. The matter was investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission, but the company declined to press criminal charges. That was a mistake, for some of the departing employees improperly used inside information, regarding confidential information concerning the company's future acquisition. We will be identifying those individuals, and detailing their respective roles, when certain additional information becomes public record; One individual is retired, but all the others are active investment advisers.

The Canadian company is refusing to release any financial information to those clients who believe that they have been defrauded, their assets dissipated, and illegal covert profits taken with their money. It has, however, disclosed that it has engaged in what may be considered as illegal trades in securities, using their funds, again  totally without client permission, authorization and knowledge. Documents were allegedly altered, client signatures forged, and records destroyed, all to cover up the trading fraud.

It is believed that the company's present dilatory tactics are being conducted solely to allow it sufficient time to sell off assets, to find money with which to repay its investors, as client funds were reportedly completely co-mingled with other capital. The civil, and criminal, liability of the company, and its officers, directors, staff members and employees, will certainly be a question for Canadian courts, and courts in other jurisdictions, as more details of the scandal emerge. We shall be covering the legal proceedings in detail, commencing tomorrow, when they become public.



The Economist recently published an article critical of how the EU decides which is a tax haven jurisdiction, and which is not to be so designated. You might want to retain a copy (see illustration above) for your junior compliance officers to place upon their desk, for ready reference, when deciding whether to conduct due diligence, or enhanced due diligence investigations, at account opening.


The areas in western Venezuela, near the frontier with Colombia, which have been placed under martial law by President Maduro, have been instructed to restrict the entry and exit of the Bolivar from that region. Constitutional rights have already been suspended in that area, and compliance officers whose foreign financial institutions have exposure in that area should immediately recalculate Country Risk for Venezuela, in light of this new prohibition on repatriating liquid assets from the affected area.

Please note that the unofficial exchange rate, between the Bolivar and the US Dollar, has passed the 700 level; It currently stands at 727-to-1USD.

Monday, August 24, 2015


A Panama attorney has asserted that one of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutors, Zuleika Moore, was the incorporator and subscriber of a corporation linked to the convicted Colombian Ponzi schemer, David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán, who was convicted of money laundering in the United States. Prosecutor Moore has been accused of forming a company known as Companie De Eonseil Et D, which is known to be controlled by Murcia.

The allegations are that the corporation was part of Murcia's  network of corporations and private foundations, all connected to the scandal involving money laundering at the Private Bank of Andorra (Banca Privada D'Andorra). There have been calls for an investigation in Panama City, which could result in her dismissal. Anti-Corruption Prosecutors in the Republic of Panama routinely handle money laundering cases.