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Home » Featured, People & Places, Regional / International » U.S. $23 Million A.I.B.L./F.T.C. Settlement! The Scam Jilted American Investors $100M
Sep 24, 2019

U.S. $23 Million A.I.B.L./F.T.C. Settlement! The Scam Jilted American Investors $100M

Twenty-three million U.S. dollars – that’s how much Atlantic International Bank Limited has been ordered to cough up to settle charges filed in the U.S. district court by the Federal Trade Commission concerning the multi-million dollars real estate fraud known today as Sanctuary Belize. The judgment was handed down today after several settlement correspondences were exchanged between F.T.C. commissioners, the Liquidator Julian Murillo, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow whom the F.T.C. made several serious allegations against.  As part of the settlement, A.I.B.L. was ordered not to conduct any future business, in order words, the order effectively killed A.I.B.L. and its operations. No other person or entity is allowed to re-license or operate the business of A.I.B.L.  The bank has also been ordered to relinquish dominion and all legal and equitable right, title, and interest of all assets paid, transferred, assigned, or relinquished and may not seek the return of any such assets. Separately from the twenty-three million, it has been ordered that the F.T.C. will have a six-million dollars claim. The F.T.C. will use the twenty-three million dollars settlement to provide redress to more than one thousand victims who investments hundreds of thousands of dollars in the scam. A release from the Central Bank of Belize today points out that the settlement “does not involve taxpayer or Central Bank funds. According to the F.T.C., the scheme took in more than one hundred million dollars, mostly from American consumers, marketing lots in Sanctuary Belize. The scam led by chronic scam artist Andris Pukke promised investors luxurious parcels of land fitted with luxury amenities. A.I.B.L. is accused of illegally assisted and facilitated the fraud. A.I.B.L. filed multiple unsuccessful motions to dismiss the F.T.C.’s. The Central Bank release says that “while A.I.B.L. does not acknowledge any violation of U.S. law, this S.B.E. settlement agreement enables a timely, more wholesome recovery for A.I.B.L. depositors, protects the financial sector from further stress and minimizes economic disruption and risk.”  The F.T.C. shut down the scam in November 2018 and this year, it filed court documents in which several damning allegations were made against cabinet ministers, Patrick Faber and Erwin Contreras who denied the statements. Serious allegations were filed against PM Barrow who immediately called a press conference to deny the allegations and threatened to sue local media for repeating the allegations. The court document also involved the name of U.D.P. Senator Aldo Salazar, who was the only government official who confirmed meeting with Luke Chadwick, though he would not disclose the nature of the meeting. Notably, Senator Salazar was also the attorney for A.I.B.L.  All A.I.B.L. assets, subject to the asset freeze up, become receivership assets immediately.  All assets will be transferred to the receiver, Robb Evans and Associates immediately.  During last week preconference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the settlement.

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