St Kitts-Nevis government moves swiftly to revoke passports of accused fraudsters
The government of St Kitts and Nevis moved swiftly on Monday to revoke the passports of David B. Kaplan and his wife Lisa M. Kaplan, both of whom are both named in a recent US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing alleging a fraudulent scheme that raised $15.8 million, of which approximately $385,000 was sent to St Kitts and Nevis to obtain citizenship for Kaplan and his wife
According to the SEC complaint, unsealed on Friday, and filed on May 19, 2016, in the US District Court for the District of Nevada-Reno, Kaplan repeatedly lied to prospective investors by stating that their funds would be invested in a low-risk, private offshore trading program that would be provide estimated monthly profits of ten percent.
The complaint alleges that Kaplan did not use investor funds as promised but instead:
• Used at least $2.3 million for his personal benefit, including approximately $385,000 sent to St Kitts and Nevis between June 2015 to March 2016, of which at least $79,394 was wired to a St Kitts law firm to obtain passports and/or St Kitts and Nevis citizenship for Kaplan and his wife;
• Sent $1.1 million to his wife, Lisa Kaplan, a purported charitable foundation, and a corporation that Kaplan controlled;
• Invested at least $360,000 in an allegedly fraudulent scheme at the centre of a federal criminal indictment in Ohio; and
• Made approximately $1.8 million in Ponzi-like payments to other investors.
In a press statement on Monday, the St Kitts and Nevis government reiterated its commitment to the highest level of due diligence and transparency in relation to the citizenship-by-investment program and, based on the SEC filing, decided to revoke the passports with immediate effect.
“The Kaplans’ application was processed after appropriate due diligence checks by a highly reputable, internationally renowned due diligence service provider found no evidence of impropriety or illegal activity,” the statement said.
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