The Cayman Gang of Four, Sharon Lexa Lamb, Derek Buntain, Ryan Bateman, and Fernando Mota Mendes, employed techniques commonly used by money launderers and financial criminals. The purpose of these strategies was to deceive the victims, hide the true criminal purpose of their operation, and cover their tracks while taking illicit profits, and diverting the victims' money to their own use.
Here are a number of them that have been identified in our investigation:
(1) Telling the victims that their money was going into special accounts at the Bank of Butterfield, and showing the purported account information in the wire transfer data given to them, when, in truth and in fact, the money was all going into trading accounts, in the name, and under the control of fraudster/trader Four member Ryan Bateman. The wire transfer instructions, which I have seen, perpetuate this myth, giving false comfort to the victims.
(2) Purchasing shelf corporations in the British Virgin Islands, all of which were bearer share companies, for the victims. A shelf company (not to be confused with a shell company, which is a corporation without any business or assets) is one that was formed years earlier, by a corporate service provider, in a tax haven jurisdiction, to literally sit on the shelf until sold. Shelf companies appear to be, by virtue of their age, existing and operating entities, actually in business, when this is not true. The corporate documents bear this out.
(3) Moving victim funds between companies with deceptively similar, or virtually similar, names, formed in separate jurisdictions, to make transfers seamless, or appear to be merely internal transfers, when they are actually international in scope. Bateman had companies with the same names as his Cayman entities in Panama, and one in the UK.
(4) Trading in securities in well-known old line financial institutions in the United States, showing the money being traded as that of the fraudsters' companies, and not the property of the victims. Two prominent banks, one in Canada, and one in the US, were used in this manner.
(5) Leaving only nominal amounts in accounts in banks located in Grand Cayman, so that, in the event that funds are frozen, there will only be a loss, in acceptable levels, for the fraudsters. The accounts were "swept," or emptied, and the vast bulk of funds sent overseas. While amounts frozen by the banks, when they received actual notice that financial crimes had occurred, are in the low seven figures, they only represent less than one per cent of the missing amounts.
As you can see, the Gang of Four have used tried-and-true tactics of financial criminals to obtain, launder, and retain the proceeds of their criminal activities.