Former FBI informant sues Puerto Rico Financial Institutions Commissioner
SAN JUAN – A man who runs a stock-brokerage firm and spent several years running sting operations as an FBI informant has sued Puerto Rico’s Office of the Financial Institutions Commissioner for rejecting his application to open a bank on the island.
Guy Gentile, whose U.S. Justice Department charges were dismissed, said his application to open a bank has been rejected twice, in part, because he expressed himself disrespectfully in a newspaper report when he said he wanted to get a license plate reading “F—YOU DOJ” and played a recording of himself rapping that he was going rogue.
He said OCIF, the Spanish acronym by which the commissioner’s office is known, violated his right to free speech and erroneously took the arrest against him into consideration for the license.
“The use of the word ‘f—‘ in criticizing government simply can not contribute to the denial of any type of license,” he said.
Gentile owns online brokerage firm SureTrader in the Bahamas. He began to work as an informant for the FBI in 2012 after the bureau said he orchestrated schemes to defraud investors out of $17 million.
As part of a sting operation, he gathered information that led to the arrest of a lawyer and other individuals involved in trading schemes. The Justice Department charged him in 2016, but the case was dismissed because prosecutors waited too long to file it. A related Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit was also dropped because of a problem with the statute of limitations.
After his business began to grow, he applied for a license to run in Puerto Rico an international financing entity. OCIF head George Joyner, however, rejected his application twice stating he is mandated by law to evaluate an applicant’s character, integrity and experience.
Joyner also said Gentile had failed to disclose the SEC lawsuit and criminal charges. He also criticized Gentile’s use of lewd language in an interview with Bloomberg and for posting a “Wolf of Wall Street” meme with a caption reading “F—YOU ALL.”