Carlos Hill walking free was a safe bet
I am sure it came as no surprise to many that Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill walked away a free man on Wednesday, after waiting for nine years to be tried on charges of allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than 40,000 people out of their hard-earned cash.
The scheme was far-reaching. Back in 2005 when the scheme was at its height, I was living in St Maarten and a successful businessman who ran a real estate business expressed to me an interest in investing in Cash Plus.
The 10 per cent per month was just too sweet a deal to pass up. At his behest, I made a call to Jamaica and was advised that this was not a good thing to invest in.
I passed on my information to the businessman, and I don't know if he heeded my advice or not.
I only know that after a while, things began to crumble around Cash Plus and that the eventual constant trial delays subsequently led to Hill walking free on Wednesday.
Cases like this speak to why people in this country tend to take the law into their own hands. Here is a situation where between the police and the relevant authorities, in nine years, no one was able to put together a credible case and ensure that witnesses remained engaged so as to bring this matter before a court and get justice for the people who were robbed of billions of dollars.
A friend of mine told a story on Facebook this week of an elderly couple who took their life savings of about J$11 million and, against the advice of their banker, 'invested' in the Cash Plus scheme. It crashed three months later.
The ineptitude of the authorities and the resultant inertia of potential witnesses brings into sharp contrast the fact that in the time that it took to totally mess up this case, US authorities successfully arrested, prosecuted and jailed David Smith of Olint infamy, Bernie Madoff and Allan Stanford for similar offences, and each of those gentlemen are well into their long prison sentences.
In the time US authorities took to investigate, try and convict these three men, our people were not even able to bring Hill to the courthouse door.
You want to hear something even more embarrassing? We have not even brought charges against David Smith yet, and in that time he has served time in jail in the Turks and Caicos and has now been transferred to jail in the US.
If that doesn't speak to ineptitude or corruption, or both, I don't know what will.
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