|Donville Inniss leaving Federal Court.|
A US District Court Judge in New York set the money laundering trial of a former government cabinet minister and MP in Barbados for June 24, 2019, after plea negotiations broke down. Attorneys for Donville Inniss, the former Minister of Commerce and International Business requested the extensive delay, to allow them to review what is referred to as extensive Discovery, and to line up witnesses for trial.
Inniss is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, he allegedly accepted bribes to direct government insurance business to a Bermuda firm, through a local insurance agent in Barbados. He has denied guilt since his arrest. The Government asserts that he laundered the bribes in the United States, through a front company.
The defendant, like many former Caribbean government officials, has resided in the United States by virtue of being a lawful permanent resident ("Green Card"), but if he is convicted, he will lose that residency right, and most likely be deported after serving his prison sentence. The case reminds us that the United States, mindful that many corrupt Caribbean officials prefer to spend their post-government days in the United States, with the proceeds of corruption, is keeping a close eye upon those individuals.