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Oct 15, 2010

“Not Guilty!” No evidence to prove $1.5 Million was laundered

Not Guilty on two counts. That’s the verdict in the money laundering trial that has kept the Coye family out of work for over a year. On December thirty-first of 2008, one point five million dollars were found inside the Coye family home and the Financial Intelligence Unit alleged that the funds were the proceeds of money laundering.  It was also alleged that the Traffic Department’s database was compromised and the names of prominent Belizeans were used as signatories of money transfers coming from Money Exchange International Limited, which was run by the Coye family.  But at ten to eleven this morning, Supreme Court Judge Adolph Lucas instructed the jury to pronounce the defendants: Money Exchange International Limited, Melonie Coye, her husband James Gerou, parents Michael and Marlene, brother, Jude along with office workers Athlee Matute and Deitrich Kingston, not guilty due to lack of evidence to support the charges. The FIU’s case was presented by Antoinette Moore while the family and employees were defended by Arthur Saldivar and Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley. News Five spoke to Bradley, who explained that though there was a suggestion of forgery, his clients were innocent.

Richard "Dickie" Bradley

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney for Coye Family

“The judge said there was some forgery shown. In the details, because I was the one that submitted on this whole matter of the forgery and the fraud and the documents, first let me say this. The money gram forms put in persons’ names with a signature which was alleged to be their signature, none of the accused; no evidence in the court that they wrote that person’s name or forged that person’s signature. On the right hand side of the money gram forms brought to court, there were initials and the judge is saying that there was in his view there was forgery of those forms, but there were no links between those twelve forms or nineteen forms brought to court and this vast amount of money.

He put it this way in court, a person was in this country charged for murder and they are proving, well he didn’t go this far, but they are proving this is the weapon you were stabbed with or shot with, this is the witness that saw so and so and then the dead person is right in court alive still around. The key ingredient is that you must show, that if you find money, that money comes from criminal activity—it is dirty money that you are trying to or have washed. In the cases that were submitted at length, there is a very pronouncement by one of the judges, there can be a reasonable innocent explanation for the money. Noh because yoh find money dah dehn people house, you can say that that money is the proceeds of money laundering or the fraud and forgery that they sought to prove. If the case had gone forward to the jury, and the accused persons had an opportunity to give their side of the story and explained; you see this three hundred thousand dollars, here is my land papers that I sold my land on. You see this other two hundred thousand dollars; here is when I sold my business. I want to tell the media what never came out, is that when Mr. Saldivar, my colleague in the matter, went initially when the money was found and counted, that those monies—and the jury saw those monies—they went to the Central Bank to see the exhibit. All the monies had on their original wrappers from the various banks that they were withdrawn from. All those money had wrappers and the wrappers had what appeared to be the signature of the bank tellers and the dates they were taken out of the bank.  No investigation was done to trace that money to say who withdraw it. Why would they need to withdraw so much money. The monies date back to the year 2000. The wrapper from the bank is still there. No investigation into that matter. You come find latta money da mi house, unu da muss criminal. I di charge unu.”

When the company’s assets were seized, Money Exchange International Limited was forced to close its doors. And though the Coye family no longer operates a sub agent, MoneyGram has since resumed trade under the management of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for ““Not Guilty!” No evidence to prove $1.5 Million was laundered”

  1. GUINEA GRASS Observer says:

    I knew this would be the outcome of this court case.

    It time for FIU to analyze why they did not won the case and recommend new legislation to GOB on how to ensure a proper conviction of this type of illegal activities.

    As a matter of fact, public institution in Belize of all sectors need to do period analysis of their functions, responsibilities, processes, etc. to identify loopholes and do the configurations. They should also recommend possible legislation to GOB for their work to be efficient and effective, hence for ensure results, proper outcome and really a positive impact.

    I also recommend GOB to pass a legislation that requires Ministers and CEOs to prepare an annual report on their activities, projects, achievements, etc. For instance, in Mexico, the president and the governors are required by law to have annual reports (INFORMES ANNUALES) on the state of affairs of their secretaries/ ministries. This has to be done in an annual bases and published on the Government Website.

    Furthermore, low or middle level public officials should be recognized and/or given a price if he/she provide innovative idea on how to make their department function more efficiently or provides recommendation on new legislation.

  2. Edith says:

    I am not surprised by the outcome. How can we convict money launderers when we cannot even convict a burglar. Our justice system needs n overhaul from top to bottom.

  3. discription says:

    Tricky Dicky wins again can GOB please hire this guy, and then we can win some cases …….Branker -taitt Vidal ur out Dicky ur in = convictions

  4. Rizzo says:

    Good job Dickie!!!!

  5. GOD FEARING youth says:

    which case you all hear Dicky loose. loosing is not in his book.

  6. RadicalBelizean says:

    I am happy for the Coye family, well done Dickie.

  7. Bejamin Usher says:

    I think Dickie doesnt need to look for clients, they come running to him and he probably has more than he can deal with. He spots a weak case like a sniper shooting at a target that is 100 miles wide. When he’s around an acquittal is bound to be the result.

  8. Manford says:

    If all the cases that are brought against Belizeans were settled by public opinion there would be no end to the size of the prison to hold all the guilties. Better yet, lets do away with all the laws, Oh! but I still hear voices calling for more laws. Wiser men and women who has a good hold on human nature, understood, and still understands that good men can go wrong, and it dosen’t take much to accuse someone, so they decided that the best way level the playing field is to make it so that the accuser must be able to prove beyound a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty as charged; and if that cannot be proven, then the accused must walks. A person freedom of movement is not something to toy with. I knew from the begining that this was only witch hunt.

  9. GOB is full of crap. They need a real purging. says:

    GOB uses its time on stupid things while it should be thinking of ways to combat drug dealers and building on our economy and creating a better life for Belizean people. I am am so happy that the Coye family won the case. They have suffer so much after the brutal and very immature form of treatment they received both from the Belize police force and they FIU. Shame on them. Go back to school and learn to treat people. The system sucks as bad as the government does. Shame on our system and corrupted government.

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