American Sentenced for Offshore Fraud in Belize

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Updated: February 8, 2017

72-year-old, Robert Bandfield is a US citizen who was practicing dentistry in Canada before he relocated to Belize about four years ago and subsequently nabbed by US authorities during a visit to Miami on September 9, 2014.  His arrest came following an in-depth investigation into offshore fraudulent activities that he was suspected of carrying out in Belize and other countries.  Bandfield was in a Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday where he was sentenced to six years in prison after he had pleaded guilty in May 2016 to a single conspiracy charge. According to international reports, Bandfield aided in the manipulation of at least forty thinly traded stocks, helped in concealing assets for more than one hundred US citizens and residents and facilitated in the evading of reports to the US IRS.  One report wrote that Bandfield conspired to launder two hundred and fifty million US dollars in proceeds from securities fraud which now marks the biggest conviction yet in a new wave of investigations into businesses that help hide money offshore.  In court, Bandfield’s rebuttal noted that the US had directed Belize agents to conduct a search at this offices which violated his constitutional right but prosecutors argued that the matter was handled appropriately.  Bandfield reportedly used shell companies incorporated in Nevis to hold Belize companies because the law there “imposes significant barriers” on regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil lawsuit based on the same allegations as the criminal case.  Bandfield was accused of leading the operation. In 2013 he boasted to an undercover investigator posing as a client that he had incorporated more than 5,000 offshore corporate structures to hide his clients’ assets, prosecutors alleged.  Bandfield’s counsel said she was pleased that her client has a chance to live his late years outside of custody.  Bandfield apologized to the court and his family. He could have been put away for 20 years, based on relevant sentencing guidelines but will only serve six years.