FBI agent testifies

Special Agent Michael Kelly from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation told a Grand Court jury about an interview conducted in 2000 with Raymond F. Creed, who is on trial for money laundering.

Mr. Kelly said he came across Creed while investigating Ken Taves in 1997 and 1999.

Creed is accused of assisting Taves to retain the benefit of criminal conduct. Taves has pleaded guilty to charges involving credit card fraud in the US.

The interview with Creed was conducted by US Assistant Attorney Brent Whittelesy with the Department of Justice. Mr. Kelly took notes, which were put in report form a few days later.

When FBI agents write such a report they just try to convey what was said, not their opinion, he explained.

According to the report, Creed was born in 1934 and had dual citizenship – Canadian and Australian. A building contractor, he moved to Cayman in 1981. He had known Taves approximately 20 years.

In 1995-1996, Taves wrote Creed less than $4,000 worth of cheques for the use of his boat.

In 1997, Creed lent Taves $1.7 million in cash to expand his internet company. The loan was repaid in Cayman to avoid US taxes.

Creed had the money from his father, who had earned it in real estate. His father had kept cash so there would be no records and no tax.

There were also questions about a company named Chamonix. The jury has heard from other witnesses that a bank account for Chamonix was used to transfer money from accounts controlled by Taves to accounts controlled by Taves.

Creed said in the interview that he remembered he signed a document that had something to do with Chamonix but he did not remember why he signed it. He knew he could not have signed it in August 1998 because he did not go to Cayman until October that year.

The jury has seen a company formation document for Chamonix dated August 1998 with the signature of Creed, but which the defendant said was written by someone else.

Mr. Whittelesy, the attorney who had conducted the interview with Creed, said he did so because it had been determined that Creed had engaged in certain financial transactions with Taves.

He asked if Creed would prefer to be interviewed or appear before a Grand Jury looking into Taves’ matters. Creed preferred the interview.

The attorney said they were interested in a $1.7 million transfer from Taves to Creed, which Creed said was the repayment of a loan.

This witness detailed Taves’ activities. He said Taves had obtained about 3.7 million credit card numbers from a bank. He charged some 900,000 credit cards for some $37 million that the card holders did not authorise. The scheme began around 1 January 1998 and lasted until around the end of that year.

Mr. Whittelesy said Taves had been imprisoned since 2000 in this matter, with a sentence of 135 months imposed in 2004. He has been ordered to pay $37,566,577 in restitution.

Cross-examined by Defence Attorney Delroy Murray, this witness agreed that Creed willingly went through the interview; afterwards, the attorney had nothing further to do with him.