Joshua Vandyk, a U.S. citizen, and Eric St-Cyr and Patrick Poulin, Canadian citizens, were indicted for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The indictment alleges that Vandyk, St-Cyr and Poulin conspired to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of property believed to be the proceeds of bank fraud. The Caribbean-based defendants allegedly assisted undercover law enforcement agents, posing as U.S. clients, in laundering purported criminal proceeds through an offshore structure designed to conceal the true identity of the proceeds’ owners. Vandyk and St-Cyr invested the laundered funds on the clients’ behalf and represented the funds would not be reported to the U.S. government.
* * * In addition to the conspiracy charge, Vandyk, St-Cyr and Poulin were each charged with two counts of money laundering.
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According to the indictment, Vandyk and St-Cyr lived in the Cayman Islands and worked for an investment firm based in the Cayman Islands. St-Cyr was the founder and head of the investment firm, whose clientele included numerous U.S. citizens. Poulin, an attorney at a law firm based in Turks and Caicos, worked and resided in Canada and in the Turks and Caicos. His clientele also included numerous U.S. citizens.
According to the indictment, Vandyk, St-Cyr and Poulin solicited U.S. citizens to use their services to hide assets from the U.S. government. Vandyk and St-Cyr directed the undercover agents posing as U.S. clients to create offshore foundations with the assistance of Poulin and others because they and the investment firm did not want to appear to deal with U.S. clients. Vandyk and St-Cyr used the offshore entities to move money into the Cayman Islands and used foreign attorneys as intermediaries for such transactions.
According to the indictment, Poulin established an offshore foundation for the undercover agents posing as U.S. clients and served as a nominal board member in lieu of the clients. Poulin transferred wire payments from the offshore foundations to the Cayman Islands, where Vandyk and St-Cyr invested those funds outside the United States in the name of the offshore foundation. The investment firm represented that it would neither disclose the investments or any investment gains to the U.S. government, nor would it provide monthly statements or other investment statements to the clients. Clients were able to monitor their investments online through the use of anonymous, numeric passcodes. Upon request from the U.S. client, Vandyk and St-Cyr would liquidate investments and transfer money, through Poulin, back to the United States. According to Vandyk and St-Cyr, the investment firm would charge clients higher fees to launder criminal proceeds than to assist them in tax evasion.So, it appears that they were both money laundering (not yet alleged against Swiss enablers that I am aware of) and ordinary enablement of U.S. tax evasion (which is what the charge against the Swiss enablers that I am aware of).