The US authorities’ probe into alleged fraud at collapsed wealth firm Beaufort Securities has gathered momentum after one of the six individuals indicted by the Department of Justice pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy.
Arvinsingh Canaye, who ran a connected offshore company, Beaufort Management, from his home island of Mauritius, also faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, which he denies, reports the Times.
He, along with the others indicted, are alleged to have a series of both money laundering and securities fraud schemes. These ranged from ‘pump and dump’ market manipulation of worthless securities to an apparent attempt to launder £6.7 million through the sale of a Pablo Picasso painting.
Canaye was one of the defendants trapped in an undercover FBI sting, with US court papers seen by the Times claiming he told the agent to ‘keep the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and Mauritian Secret Police off my back’.
Meanwhile, a second defendant has been extradited from Hungary. British national Adrian Baron was chief business officer at Loyal Bank, an offshore bank with outposts in Budapest and St Vincent and the Grenadines that is understood to have had business links with Beaufort.
Baron denies charges of money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the US.
The news about the US probe into Beaufort came back in March on the same day that the Financial Conduct Authority declared the company insolvent. Thousands of investors still have money trapped in investments with the broker, although the vast majority are expected to receive all of their money back in full.
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