US Federal Trade Commission Refunds $10 Million to Belize Sanctuary Bay Fraud Victims
Some ten million US dollars are being refunded by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to persons who invested in the Belize Sanctuary Bay fraud project. According to the FTC, close to twelve hundred cheques are being mailed out with an average of just over eight thousand US dollars. The Belize Sanctuary Bay project was a land development that offered investors a luxurious residential dream that never came to fruition. The marketers of the development sold investors a dream of condos, private swimming pools, with spa facilities and the likes, but that never happened. The principals behind the Sanctuary Bay scheme are said to have collected 124 million US dollars. Back in April this year, one of the principals, Andres Pukke was picked up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 13 million US dollars in wire fraud and embezzlement surrounding the Sanctuary Bay scheme. Back in 2019, Belize’s Atlantic International Bank Limited had settled with the FTC for 23 million US dollars for their role in assisting the Sanctuary Bay promoters in deceiving US consumers to buy into the land scheme. In 2020, Belizean businessman, John Usher, another principal in the Sanctuary Bay project, was ordered by the US Courts to pay over 120 million US dollars, with his assets and bank accounts were frozen in the process. Also ordered to pay the same amount were the other two principals, Luke Chadwick and Peter Baker. Many of the investors who were swindled were American nationals which forced the FTC to get involved. The men had appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeals confirmed that it was a deceptive scheme, and subsequently ordered that an initial rounds of refunds be paid out which brings us to the present where the FTC are issuing cheques to the Sanctuary Bay real estate investors.