December 6, 2022

The Britain-born, St. Vincent and the Grenadines naturalized citizen, Dave Ames, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for running what a judge described as a “gigantic Ponzi scheme” in the Caribbean.

Ames, the former chairman of Harlequin, the company that owned the former Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is also wanted in the Caribbean island on tax evasion and theft charges.

He was sentenced in the British court to nine years for one count of fraud by abuse of position and three years for another count. The sentences will run consecutively.

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Last month, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the United Kingdom successfully prosecuted Ames, who was behind the fraud involving celebrity-endorsed luxury resorts in the Caribbean, including Buccament Bay Resort.

In handing down his sentence on Friday, Justice Christopher Hehir described Ames as a “slick salesman and thoroughly dishonest with it”

He said that Harlequin’s sales material was “full of ambiguous, false, and misleading claims in his name.

“The prosecution was careful not to use the word before the jury, but the plain truth is that from January 2010 the operation was a gigantic Ponzi scheme and could only keep going by attracting new investors and you knew they would almost inevitably lose everything.

The judge said Ames had no relevant experience entering the property business, noting “you had sold garden furniture and double glazing and been in the loan…

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