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Inniss pleads not guilty


Inniss pleads not guilty

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NEW YORK – Former Barbados government minister, Donville Inniss, will return to a Federal Court on October 23, this year after he pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges.

The 52-year-old former Minister of Commerce, who is represented by attorney-at-law Garnett Sullivan, was released on the same US$50 000 bond when he first made his court appearance earlier this month. He has now been also ordered not to communicate with any of the alleged co-conspirators.

Inniss, a United States permanent resident, was arrested on August 3 in Tampa, Florida and charged with one count of conspiracy to launder money and two counts of money laundering.

The indictment alleges that in 2015 and 2016, the then minister took part in a scheme to launder into the United States approximately US$36 000 in bribes that he received from high-level executives of a Barbadian insurance company, which was not named in the indictment.

The prosecutors alleges that Inniss used his position as a government minister to help the insurance company secure two Barbados government contracts and that he concealed the nature of the bribes by receiving them through a dental company and a bank located in Elmont, New York, under the guise of payments for consulting services.

The indictment was sealed on March 15, a few weeks before Inniss and the then ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) were booted out of office in the May 24 general election.

When he appeared in court on Thursday, Inniss was accompanied by his former cabinet colleague and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

The accused is now permitted to travel to the Southern District of Florida. Prior to Thursday’s court hearing, Inniss was only permitted to travel between the Eastern District of New York and Middle District of Florida.

If convicted, Inniss could be fined US$500 000 as well as serving 20 years in jail. (CMC)