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Friday, February 12, 2010

Is she the next Rosemary?

St. Thomas Resident Nabbed in Florida After Alleged $3M Scam

t seems St. Thomas might be dubbed “Scam Island” for all the apparent flimflamming going on these days.
After local real estate broker Rosemary Sauter apparently fled with as much as $2.5 million from her RE/MAX Dream Properties escrow accounts, provoking a region-wide manhunt by local and federal authorities last week, the V.I. Department of Justice announced another arrest early this week that made Sauter’s alleged sins look venal in comparison.
Acting on a warrant issued after a lengthy investigation by the V.I. Department of Justice’s White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Division, U.S. Marshals on Monday arrested St. Thomas resident Janice Dorette Rey in Dade County, Fla.
Rey, 48, a native of Anguilla, is accused of defrauding numerous V.I. residents of more than $3 million, according to a statement issued by the DOJ late Thursday.
Operating out of her office in the Times Center Building under the storefront name, Rey Financial LLC, Rey acted as an agent of the apparent shell company, Paramount Group LLC, promising “risk-free” “double returns” on her victims' investments, according to the DOJ statement.
“Rey failed to pay victims their principal investment or any returns/proceeds from that investment, when it became due or anytime thereafter, as she had promised,” the statement said. “Instead, Rey issued worthless checks to some of her victims.”
Rey is charged with Obtaining Money by False Pretense, Drawing and Delivering Worthless Checks, Securities Fraud, and Being an Unregistered Broker-Dealer.
The investigation revealed that Rey launched her scheme on unwitting Virgin Islanders as early as 2007. After a long joint investigation, V.I. Superior Court Judge James Carroll III issued a warrant for her arrest on Dec. 10.
“The number of Virgin Islanders allegedly affected by the scheme continues to grow along with the amount of the fraud, as complainants continue to come forward and the investigation into the matter continues,” DOJ officials wrote in Thursday’s statement.
Neither Janice Dorette Rey, Paramount Group, nor Rey Financial Services were registered as broker-dealers of Securities in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The investigation further revealed that Paramount Group, LLC, was a shell company owned and operated by Rey, the statement said.
Rey is being held by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department on $1.1 million bail.
The DOJ urges anyone who suspects that they may have been defrauded by J Rey to immediately contact V.I.Department of Justice Special Agent James McCall or the White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Division at 774-5666 x125.

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