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Accused Investment Scammer Under House Arrest

Alleged international flim-flam artist and St. Thomas resident Janice Rey found herself in deeper trouble with the law last week as the V.I. Department of Justice expanded its investigation into investment schemes that agents say amount to at least $7.2 million and span the Caribbean.

After hearing new evidence presented by prosecutors last week, V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar put Rey under house arrest, ordered that she be tracked by electronic ankle monitor and forced Rey to pay a $250,000 cash bail while she awaits trial.

After her arraignment on March 18, the 49-year-old Rey, a native of Anguilla, had walked free on $150,000 collateral bail based on two properties put up by her parents.

Arguing for the increased conditions of her bail, DOJ prosecutor Denise George-Counts said Rey has demonstrated a pattern of taking investment money and leaving a community without looking back.

With a lack of strong ties to the Virgin Islands, and possible access to millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains stashed outside the United States, “This defendant has shown that she is likely to leave,” George-Counts said.

George-Counts said her ongoing investigation has shown that the third-party custodians Rey had been previously released to under the former bail terms had actually profited from Rey’s alleged schemes and therefore were not likely to turn Rey in if she violated her bail.

Adding a cash bond to the bail would “give her something to lose” if she fled the territory.

According to George-Counts and government witness James McCall, the former V.I. police commissioner and now the Justice investigator leading the case, Rey cheated between 50-60 people in Anguilla, Antigua, Colombia, Panama, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Tortola, Atlanta and Florida. She also owns a shell business in Hong Kong, abandoned an attempt to form a bank in Anguilla, has business dealings in Belgium and holds bank accounts in Nevada.

According to the DOJ, Rey ran an investment scam through her Rey Financial, LLC, and Paramount Group, LLC, in which she offered investors “risk-free” investment plans offering “double returns.”

After investors either deposited their principal in a Bank of America account in Nevada – or gave her cash, as she required in some foreign countries – she promised that investment would be returned in full after a given time, plus the profit. Not only were there no returns, but Justice says none of the principal was ever returned and has since disappeared from all of her traceable bank accounts.

On paper, Rey has no money and no assets.

“We do not see that any of the assets remain in the territory or even in the country,” George-Counts said in the bail hearing on April 15.

After a lengthy investigation led by the DOJ Special Investigations Division and White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Division, Rey was arrested in Miami on Feb. 8 and extradited to St. Thomas in March.

She is charged with being involved in a criminally influenced and corrupt organization, obtaining money by false pretense, drawing or delivering worthless checks, being an unregistered broker dealer and securities fraud.

Investigators have seized computers, documents, cell phones and other items from the offices of Rey Financial, LLC, in Times Center in Tutu and a family residence she stayed at in Frydenhoj.

No trial date is in sight as agents from the DOJ and the federal Internal Revenue Service expand their investigation.

“Victims are still calling in,” George-Counts said.

Editor’s Note: This story was changed at 7:35 a.m. on April 20 to reflect that Rey is a native of Anguilla, not Antigua as originally reported.

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