(CMR) A large Friends & Family, Blossom Circle (Sou-Sou) group has ended spectacularly with the police being called several times to East End and the couple now said to be married and on the run.
The parties involved apparently were being threatened after the group containing upwards of 1,000 persons collapsed over a week ago. According to residents in the area, this has led to the leader of the group hiding out and moving out of the district abruptly.
The first time the police attended the small seaside district was on Monday, October 12 where some 20 persons had gathered outside the residence of Honduran Bilma Linwood. She informed the police that people were seeking repayment of monies paid into a “Sou-Sou flower scheme”. She did not have the money and instead referred them to another woman in East End by the name of Jenny Smith.
Linwood complained that she was receiving threats and shared that she had also lost money after committing to “10 hands and only got one” at $400 each. Sources indicate that people were threatening to burn her house down and kill her if they do not receive their money back.
It appears that people were encouraged to invest with “multiple hands”. One person shared:
“Before you join with them they tell you that you can get any amount of hands and you can collect them all together and when it is time to collect they say you only can get 1 hand and you have to wait until the next 4 weeks to collect.”
The leaders of this group are said to be Honduran-Caymanian Jenny Smith and Nicaraguan Freddie Acuna Pacheco. Sources explain that they were using another resident by the name of Bilma Linwood to assist with collecting the money for them. Apparently, Pacheco would then collect the money from Linwood to give to Smith who was the ultimate organizer.
Linwood who works at a resort in East End was also a top recruiter for the pair often reaching out to her co-workers to join in. Sources indicate that a large number of her co-workers at Morritt's were solicited to join the pyramid scheme and are now very upset about the situation.
This lead to another incident several days later on Saturday, October 17th that required police presence yet again.
The police confirm they attended the scene after receiving a complaint from a man about “a partner agreement with a local female”. The man was attempting to collect his money and was told by Smith that she did not have the money as she was waiting on others to pay her to facilitate the payment.
This time of arrangement, unlike a true partner, promises big payouts with a minimal investment of $400. With partners, people only receive what they pay in but are given the opportunity to pay over a period of time. These schemes require others to constantly be recruited into the “blossom circle.” In fact, it's the money from the new recruits that is then used to pay others higher up the chain.
The police have recorded both reports as civil disputes and no police investigation has been initiated. People have previously been warned that gambling remains illegal in the Cayman Islands and once these matters go awry the police would not be able to intervene to enforce illegal activity.
Despite this participants are still sharing that they have been deceived and taken advantage of. Messages were shared from Jenny telling people that there would be an increase from $400 to $500 to participate in the group on October 17, the same day the police went to see her. There was no indication of why the increase in the “investment” amount but she claims they needed to do some “internal reorganizing which will slow things down a bit”. She does admit that there would be a “slight delay in payouts”.
Jenny Smith has attempted to tell her “investors” that there is no issue, just a delay with payments as she quietly moves out of East End. One person shared that she informed them that they had been given the wrong payout date and they can still expect to be paid this week.
However, Smith sent her sister Jacqueline and fiance Pacheco to move her belongings out of their shared house in East End. Lindwood now claims that she has been completely ghosted and cannot locate Smith who is also refusing to take her phone calls.
Rumors are circulating about what has happened to the money as some shared that they understand she was building a house in Honduras, recently had major surgery at Health City and Pacheco was driving around in a rental car for several months. It turns out this is not the first time that Smith has been involved in a money group that has gone bad. She owes a co-worker at Red Sails over $3,750.00 from a previous incident.
Sources indicate that Smith who is from Guanaja, Honduras is ironically the sister of Jacqueline Smith, another leader of a similar now-defunct group. Speculation is the two sisters may have been working together as Jenny was taking money from her group to assist Jacqueline in paying some of her people back.
Sources further shared that during this fiasco Jenny Smith and Freddie Pacheco got married on October 16.