Earlier this week we told you of the pickle that Belizean businessman John Usher has found himself in. The FTC had proposed to the US Court in the District of Maryland that an order be enforced that finds Usher liable to pay one hundred and thirty-eight million US dollars as compensation to the investors in Sanctuary Bay. The majority of the investors are American citizens which led to the involvement of the US Federal Trade Commission that is the watchdog for trade and commerce connected to the US. The FTC had also proposed that Usher hand over the Sanctuary Bay properties or face incarceration. It is a weighted proposed order and one that Usher will have to deal with despite him ignoring the summons to appear in the US courts. With the US and Belize having several cooperation agreements, our newsroom asked Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte to weigh in on the issue as it relates to possible extradition.
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General and Minister of National Security: “I received some information he was found liable to some one hundred and thirty million dollars or something – so I don’t know.”
Reporter: How does something like that work in terms of legally because I understand that he’s down south here in Belize and they’re saying two things actually; he has to pay the $138.7 million and he also has to hand over the property at Sanctuary Bay which he has been refusing to do if not he will face incarceration. So in a case would that mean extradition ? How would that work.
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General and Minister of National Security: “I don’t know if you’re asking me to Mr.Usher’s lawyer or the people who are — I really don’t know. When you’re suing for a hundred and thirty eight million dollars I think you have pretty good lawyers so I will leave that to them. “
Reporter: Has there been any legal assistance sought by the United States on this matter?
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General and Minister of National Security:
“No because it’s a civil matter but they haven’t done so. I don’t expect them to but if they make any request then we will comply with that request if it is a proper request because at times they make requests that are not proper and we tell them “No that’s not what we do.” So no request have been made of it so I don’t know where Mr.Usher nor the claimants go from here.”
60-year-old John Usher who resides in southern Belize was the Director of the Sittee River Wildlife Reserve in 2018. He also served as a Board Member up until 2013 while several marketing materials identified him as the Chairman, Developer and Principal of the Sanctuary Bay project.