Barbados: Former minister found culpable in money laundering case

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(Barbados Today) – Donville Inniss who 20 months ago was a senior Government minister in Barbados, today had a conviction for money laundering marked against his record in a Brooklyn, New York court.

And in another month, the former politician who served for as the Member of Parliament for St James South will know his punishment for accepting just over $70,000 in bribes while being a Minister of the Crown, money that the jury agreed, he illegally filtered through a New York dental business into his own account.

Today, Inniss sat emotionless as District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto read the three guilty verdicts to him at 3:45 p.m. in the Eastern District Federal Court in New York where he endured a three-day trial on the money laundering charges.

Following one hour and 52 minutes of deliberations by the 12-member jury, Inniss, the former Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, was found guilty of laundering $16,536.73 on April 17, 2015 and $20,000 on April 18, 2016,
through a US company Crystal Dental Lab, along with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Once the verdict was read, a tense-looking Inniss looked to his right where his older brother, wife Gail and close friend Adriel Brathwaite had sat for the duration of the trial which began on Monday.

One woman who sat amongst them began to cry.

Inniss’ attorney Anthony Ricco then told the court he would provide written submissions to the court by January 30. Lead prosecutor Sylvia Shweder told Judge Matsumoto she would require two weeks to reply to those submissions and agreed to a February 13 date.

Ricco then said if necessary, he would need another week to respond to the prosecutor.

Inniss will remain on bail during this period and his conditions will apply.

However, speaking to reporters immediately after the verdict was handed down, Ricco revealed he would be appealing the decision on the ground that there was insufficient evidence.

The lawyer said it was “interesting” how the US Government chose to go after Inniss, a former Barbadian public official.

The well-respected lawyer said this was the first time in history anyone had been convicted under the Anti-Bribery Law: Prevention of Corruption Act of Barbados.

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