News of the Ponzi scheme involving two Goan boys reached the ears of Goans across the world. Sydney Lemos and Ryan de Souza, both from North Goa, have each been sentenced to 500 years in prison. Various news reports state that they are accused of duping investors out of millions of dollars. Many have lost life savings in this situation. While Sydney Lemos owns Exential, the company at the forefront of the fraud, it is not completely clear what role Ryan de Souza has played in this entire scenario. It has also led to his family and friends getting together on social media to ask for support in getting Ryan’s name cleared. Read on to find out more.
Ryan de Souza is being made a scapegoat, says his father
25-year-old Ryan de Souza is a graduate in Tourism and Travel Management. He also played football professionally in the league in Goa. Eventually, he moved to Dubai and played for Sydney Lemos’s football club, FC Bardez and then joined the company in June 2014. According to sources, he has now been in jail for the last one year.
His arrest and sentencing have left his family and friends stunned and distraught. “We’re completely shocked and down,” Martires de Souza, Ryan’s father, told TOI from Siolim.
“He’s innocent and has been made a scapegoat. I feel the judgment is unfair. How can Ryan receive the same sentence as the owner Sydney Lemos?” There has been a mix-up. Ryan was not Lemos’ right-hand man as he is being made out to be. He only worked in accounts for four months before the company was sealed. Lemos’ right-hand man, the sales manager has managed to escape,” Martires said.
His father continues, “He worked as an office administrator till February 2016 when he was promoted to senior accounts specialist. On the whole, he worked for four months in accounts before the Dubai department of economic development sealed the company in June. How can they say he’s responsible?” By then Ryan had resigned from the company. His visa was due to expire so he decided to return to Goa.
“He was detained at the airport on February 10, 2017, with allegations that the company was involved in a fraud. They took his statement and kept extending his detention.”
“My son was just an employee. There were so many young boys and footballers from Goa who were employed by the company,” he said, adding that his family too invested in the company and had two accounts of US $25,000 each.
Family and friends show their support for Ryan de Souza
Ryan’s family and friends have gotten together to show their support as the story continues to unfold. Through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they are asking people to pray, to donate if they can and to show up at the live telecast with Goa365 that will take place in a short while from now. The telecast will take place at Ryan’s residence in Siolim at 16:30. There are even requests for legal help wherever possible.
Family and friends have even taken time out to say kind words about Ryan de Souza on the Facebook group. You can read these by joining Support for Ryan on Facebook. You can even show support as well while the public waits for justice to be served in this entire scenario.
Information credit – Times of India & Support for RYAN (Facebook group)