Guyana Guardian – A New York Court has agreed with US prosecutors to continue to detain a Guyanese businessman almost two weeks after he was arraigned on several counts of wire fraud.

The businessman, 35-year-old Kwesi Bovell (not the Guyana-born painter and sculptor) was arrested in an FBI sting operation earlier this month, after the Feds had uncovered a massive fraud scheme in which he allegedly bilked Muholland Group LLC, an American company, out of some US$3.5 million (equivalent to $730 million Guyanese dollars) over a three year period.

Prosecutors had said that Bovell may have wired a large amount of the money to Guyana where he acquired assets, and had also used some of the money to buy two properties in New York, and another in New Jersey, while living a lavish lifestyle.

At his bail hearing on September 14, the court was told that if the Guyanese businessman is granted bail, he would flee the United States, since he has the resources and the means to do so. As a result, he was remanded to prison without bail.

Investigators had claimed that Bovell had transferred the money through a company that he operates, while he was working as the Chief Financial Officer for Mulholland Group.

According to U.S Attorney Richard Donoghue, the US government had begun to investigate Bovell after officials at Mulholland, noticed several irregularities with regard to a company credit card that was being used by him. The man also had signature authority to several of the company’s accounts, and from which he allegedly syphoned off the monies.

US officials had said that it is not the first time that the accused had landed himself in trouble with the law. As a matter of fact, prosecutors have argued that Bovell’s violent past has made him too dangerous to be released on bail since he can potentially harm witnesses.

Court records showed that Bovell, who lives in Valley Stream, was arrested three years ago and charged with possession of a loaded firearm to which he had pleaded guilty. He was also previously charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, acting in a manner to injure a child, and criminal mischief.

Referring to Bovell’s current fraud case, the FBI’s Assistant Director for the New York Field Office, Mr. William Sweeney Jr. had said “We all want to win the lottery and live lavish lifestyles, … but Mr Bovell decided he would rather take millions of dollars that wasn’t his.”

US Attorney Donoghue had also backed up the FBI statement by saying that Bovell’s arrest should put fraudsters like him on notice, since his office will hold them accountable for such criminal conduct.