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Press Release

Former Member of Barbados Parliament Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Money Laundering Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Donville Inniss Laundered Bribe Payments from a Barbados-Based Insurance Company Through Banks on Long Island

Donville Inniss, a former member of Parliament in Barbados, was sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn by United States District Court Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto to 24 months in prison for laundering bribe payments from a Barbados-based insurance company through banks on Long Island.  The Court also ordered Inniss to pay $36,536.73 in forfeiture.  Inniss was convicted in January 2020, following a one-week trial.

Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.

“In accepting bribes and laundering the payments through banks on Long Island, Inniss not only abused the public trust that was placed in him by the people of Barbados, he also stained the U.S. banking system with the proceeds of his corrupt scheme,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko.  “The defendant’s sentence today reflects the seriousness of his crimes.” 

“Donville Inniss engaged in a bribery and money laundering scheme to line his own pockets at the expense of the people of Barbados,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General McQuaid. “International corruption undermines trust in governments, threatens our national security, and prevents the free market from functioning fairly for law-abiding people and companies.  Today’s sentence sends a strong message that the Department is committed to prosecuting corrupt officials like Inniss who seek to use the U.S. financial system to hide their bribe payments.”

Between August 2015 and April 2016, Inniss accepted approximately $36,000 in bribes from high-level executives of Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) and laundered that money through banks on Long Island.  In exchange for the bribes, Inniss leveraged his position as the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development of Barbados to enable ICBL to obtain two contracts from the Barbados government to insure over $100 million worth of government property.  Inniss concealed the bribes by arranging to receive them through a Long Island bank account in the name of a friend’s dental company in Elmont, New York.  ICBL executives transferred the funds to the dental company using an invoice falsely claiming that the payments were for consulting services.  During the time of the charged conspiracy, Inniss was a legal permanent resident of the United States residing in Tampa, Florida and Barbados.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Sylvia Shweder and David Gopstein, and Assistant Chief Gerald M. Moody, Jr., of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are in charge of the prosecution.  Assistant United States Attorney Claire Kedeshian of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit is handling forfeiture matters.

The Defendant:

Age:  55
Tampa, Florida and Barbados

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-134 (S-2) (KAM)


John Marzulli
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated April 27, 2021

Foreign Corruption