Fraudster Okke Ornstein, also known as Okke Van Ooijen, was sentenced this week, by a judge in Panama City, to serve twenty months in Panama's notorious la Joya Prison, after being convicted on a number of white-collar counts last Fall. The Criminal Court of the First Judicial Circuit disregarded the option to impose a fine, and condemned him to prison. There are reportedly eight other criminal cases pending against the Dutch national, who purports to be a journalist, as a number of his victims have brought charges against him in recent years.
Ornstein, believed by many in Panama to be a serial blackmailer, avoided a long US prison sentence for serving as general manager of the criminal enterprise run in Panama City by convicted Ponzi schemer and money launderer Marc Harris, the self-styled offshore specialist, by cooperating with American authorities. He is known to have been the mastermind behind the Marc Harris Organization. Harris is presently serving a 17-year sentence in the Federal Detention Centre in Miami, and is due for release in 2018.
|Ornstein in private jet with Marc Harris|
One wonders about the wisdom of any government using such an individual as Ornstein as a source of reliable information.
He also operated an unlicensed mutual fund, the Tulip Fund*, which was the subject of a warning by the Panamanian Securities Commission, and which was linked to the Harris Organization. It is not known whether he has been taken into custody at this time.
* Tulip Universal Project SA.