We told you yesterday of the decision by a federal court in Maryland, USA that ordered the temporary shutdown of a real estate operation called “Sanctuary Belize,” following a case filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The operation is a scam that has cost investors more than $100 million US dollars over a span of 10 years. Love News spoke via phone to Trisha Nelson who says she and her husband came to Belize and decided to buy a property. They went on a tour and they were convinced that buying a lot with Sanctuary Belize would have been the best option. She said the scam had made Belize look very bad though most of the scammers were Americans.
Voice of Trisha Doke Nelson, Scammed by Sanctuary Belize: “It would be ready in four years time they said. We had date on encomberce on a lot to clear that, we used Barrels and Williams law firm. Tanya Moody was our lawyer and she assured; we also had lawyer in Ontario and she assured us that there was no conflict of interest which we found out later it appears allegedly because she still denies that we weren’t her clients but I have all the paperwork to show that we were her clients. Anyways long story short it’s now been over four years, we have no condo, we had to put $500,000 US down on the Condo cash before because they never sold the Condo before, only lots so we could not give payments, we had to come up with that much money. We sent that money to California, the bank there that gave us the name of the bank and the wiring instruction. After some time in 2014 we kept checking in, they told us they were laying the ground and they started in May of 2014, they kept saying that there were different delays. The independent owners of Sanctuary Belize, we have a non profit to sew them and get the development taken over by other owners and actually hire a real owner. They counter sewed us, we lost, which there is a lot of question behind that, it was Judge Bable who was the Judge for that trial, now we have the Federal Trade Commission stepping in and they will be sure to continue to investigate and hear from other owners. My ex husband and I owe $500,000 US, no condo, broken dreams and there is a lot of people though that have had it a lot worse than I have financially in the sense that their lives have been ruined. You know marriages have failed ,people have lost their retirement and it gave Belize a bad name.”
The Belize case was lost in the court of Justice Abel. Following the scam, Nelson said she and her then-husband had divorced. There are more than 1,000 victims who may have paid as much as five hundred thousand US dollars just like Trisha Nelson did. The main architect of the scam, Andris Pukke, was dubbed a “serial scammer by the US Federal and Trade Commission. Part of the time Pukke headed the scam, he was in prison. He was sentenced to 18 months in 2010 following clashes with the government over another company, AmeriDebt, which the FTC said had cheated debtors.