in the Arrest of International Money Manager Accused of Laundering
$1 Billion in Illegal Proceeds
JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) in New York, MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, MICHAEL J. THOMAS, the Special Agent in Charge of the United States Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CID”) in New York, RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (the “NYPD”), MARTIN FICKE, the Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) in New York, ANDREW ARENA, the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Division (“FBI”) in New York, and MARK SMITH, Major of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), all of whose agencies are members of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s Strike Force (the “Strike Force”), jointly announced today the arrest of MARTIN TREMBLAY, a Canadian national and President and Managing Director of the Bahamas-based investment firm Dominion Investments, Ltd.
An Indictment was unsealed in Manhattan federal court charging TREMBLAY with participating in a long-term money laundering scheme. The Indictment alleges that from approximately 1998 through December 2005, TREMBLAY conspired with others to launder $1 billion in illegal proceeds for numerous Dominion Investments clients, all in exchange for a substantial commission.
According to the Indictment, TREMBLAY’s company, Dominion Investments, is an investment services provider and financial advisor incorporated in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in 1994, licensed by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas, and a member of the Bahamas Financial Services Board. Dominion Investments’ website states that Dominion Investments is a “leader in the offshore financial services” market, offering its clients “the knowledge and expertise they need to effectively use international tax planning, asset protection, and other wealth preservation techniques.”
The Indictment charges that from approximately 1998 through December 2005, TREMBLAY used Dominion Investment accounts to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in the proceeds of international narcotics trafficking, securities fraud scams, income tax evasion, mail and wire fraud schemes, and bank fraud, among other crimes. TREMBLAY then laundered the illicit funds by transferring them into United States bank accounts and offshore bank accounts in Canada, the Bahamas, and elsewhere around the world. To further conceal the source and nature of these funds, TREMBLAY and his co-conspirators created shell companies and fictitious entities, using the same false nominees, addresses, and telephone numbers, to launder these illegal proceeds. The Indictment alleges several specific instances of large quantities of illicit funds being laundered through Dominion Investment accounts including $50,000,000 in the proceeds of a tax evasion and wire fraud scheme; $3,000,000 in the proceeds from the sale of GHB kits, more commonly known as the “date-rape drug”; and millions of dollars derived from cocaine trafficking and numerous stock fraud schemes. Between 2003 and 2004, TREMBLAY laundered more than $1 billion through his Dominion Investments-related bank accounts. The Indictment includes a forfeiture allegation seeking forfeiture of these funds.
TREMBLAY was captured as a result of an undercover sting operation conducted by the Strike Force in 2005, during which TREMBLAY was videotaped agreeing to launder large amounts of money earned from narcotics sales. Approximately $220,000 was eventually transferred by wire to Dominion Investments-related accounts as per TREMBLAY’s instructions.
If convicted on the money laundering charges, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of twice the value of the laundered narcotics proceeds.
The Indictment is the culmination of a joint investigation between the United States Attorney's Office, the Strike Force, and other law enforcement agencies inside and outside the United States.
Special Agent in Charge John Gilbride stated: "This indictment demonstrates that the DEA is committed to not only dismantling the drug organizations that are responsible for distributing their illegal and destructive substances throughout our communities but those individuals who launder their money. To make a significant impact on the drug trade, there is no strategy more effective than following the money back to the drug source, targeting the laundering mechanism, and eliminating the profits that fuel the operations of the drug networks.” SAC Gilbride commended the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, the Miami Field Division, DEA, the Bern Country Office, DEA and the Ottawa Country Office, DEA for their diligent work and assistance in this successful investigation.
Mr. GARCIA stated: “These charges reaffirm this Office’s commitment to pursuing those who grow rich from crimes on our streets and in our markets, wherever the perpetrators may be.” Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative efforts of the Strike Force and the individual performance of its component agencies.
Assistant United States Attorney GLEN G. McGORTY is in charge of the prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. The forfeiture charges are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys CHRISTINA BISCHOFF and LISA KOROLOGOS of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.