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Nov 9, 2015

Fugitive Mexican/American Businessman is Denied Bail

David Nanes Schnitzer

Forty-seven-year-old David Nanes Schnitzer, a Mexican/American businessman wanted for defrauding thousands of investors while serving as president of Stanford Group Mexico, pleaded guilty to uttering upon a forged document in magistrate’s court this morning. Nanes was busted in San Pedro last Tuesday when he was found in possession of a fraudulent driver’s license.  He was later taken into custody by local authorities with assistance from Interpol and the U.S. Marshals Service.  While initially pleading not guilty to the charge, Nanes changed his answer to guilty when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith earlier today.  In the presence of attorney Liesje Barrow-Chung, bail application for the runaway executive was denied on the ground that he is a flight risk.  Given his dual nationality, it is strongly believed that Nanes would abscond the jurisdiction should he be granted bail.  The prosecutor also submitted that the court should take into consideration the strength of the case being built against the accused, since the gravity of the offense carries a maximum of three years in prison. Nanes has been inculpated for his role in one of the largest pyramid schemes in U.S. history, organized by disgraced financier Allen Stanford.  While Stanford has since been convicted and sentenced to a hundred and ten years in prison, there are no criminal charges pending against Nanes in the United States.  That notwithstanding, Inspector Castillo also made the point that Nanes is a fugitive in his home country on matters that are unrelated to the offence committed in Belize.  In response, his attorney submitted that there are a number of conditions which the court can impose on a defendant to ensure that he does not flee the jurisdiction.  Likewise, Barrow-Chung stated that denying bail on the so-called strength of the prosecution’s case would be unfair to her client since the court had not been made privy to the facts in the matter. The seven billion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Stanford involved the sales of billions of dollars in certificates of deposit administered by Stanford International Bank Limited, an offshore bank in Antigua.  The ruse ensnared thousands of victims, including investors in Latin America, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela.  In court documents filed in the United States, Nanes attorney denied that he breached his fiduciary duty to investors. David Nanes Schnitzer is due back in court on December ninth.

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