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Panamanian lawyer linked to $450m Cayman Islands fraud

news2By Kenneth Rijock From Caribbean News Now

MIAMI, USA — Ismael Gerli, a Panamanian attorney who has been identified as a participant in a number of money laundering and fraudulent schemes, has been linked to a $450 million trading scam in the Cayman Islands, and may have escaped arrest due to being a confidential informant for a US law enforcement agency.

He is thought to have been one of the facilitators that covertly moved the victims’ millions out of the Cayman Islands, due to his known proficiency in conducting opaque transactions in Panama, Belize, and the British Virgin Islands.

Gerli’s role in a number of frauds has been previously reported; he gave false testimony in a case pending in Spain, solely for material gain, and in which he sought to extort money from a former client. He is also known to have been the attorney for the American fraudster and sexual predator, Gary James Lundgren, and reportedly taught Lundgren how to illegally acquire bearer shares and, through them, substantial real estate holdings of Canadian and American investors residing in Panama.

Gerli is also linked to convicted American securities trader, Joshua VanDyk, who worked at Ryan Bateman’s Cayman Islands firms, Bateman & Company Ltd and B & Capital Ltd. During that time VanDyk offered North American businessmen a scheme, through which VanDyk hid untaxed wealth in the Cayman Islands. Both Gerli and VanDyk were often operating in Belize at the same time, and a reliable source has confirmed their close association. If Gerli hid and laundered some of the missing investor dollars, that would explain investigators’ reports of lack of a paper trail of some of the funds.

VanDyk, though convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the United States, appears never to have been incarcerated, leading to the presumption that he subsequently rendered substantial assistance to a law enforcement agency and may have recruited Gerli to be a confidential informant? Otherwise, there is no explanation for the fact that Gerli, notwithstanding his long history of conducting organized fraud, has never been charged in the United States. Gerli has not been seen in public in Panama City of late, and he is rumoured to be in hiding, fearing extradition to Spain.

Kenneth Rijock is a banking lawyer turned-career money launderer (10 years), turned-compliance officer specialising in enhanced due diligence, and a financial crime consultant who publishes a Financial Crime Blog. The Laundry Man, his autobiography, was published in the UK on 5 July 2012.

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