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Oct 2, 2019

Was Reynaldo Verde a Chronic Shakedown Artist?

Reynaldo Verde

Deputy Director of the Belize Tax Service Reynaldo Verde legal woes continues in the U.S.A.  Today, he was denied bail.  Verde was nabbed by the F.B.I. on charges of interference with commerce by means of extortion and attempted extortion. The criminal complaint was made by the principal of Orchid Bay Development, Chris Williams, who reported the matter to the F.B.I. which carried out months of investigations and recorded Verde as he sought to collect three hundred and fifty-thousand thousand dollars to wipe away taxes owed by Orchid Bay.   A recommendation has now been filed in a U.S. district court for pre-trial diversion which is an alternative to prosecution which seeks to divert certain offenders from traditional criminal justice processing into a programme of supervision and services administered by the U.S. Probation Service. This means that Verde might not do jail time. Commenting on the matter today was Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who said that not all public officers are shakedown artists.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“When you look at the charges and the details supporting the charges it doesn’t look good but I will hope that people would recognize that the vast majority of public officers are honest and conscientious. Of course there are some that aren’t. But I don’t think we should use the apparent wrong doing of some as a brush with which to daub the entirety of the public service. Absolutely not. By and large I think we have good hardworking honest public officers.”


Hipolito Novelo

“The tax department said that they are going to investigate Verde. Do you believe that whatever cases he dealt with in the past should also be investigated?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Those should be looked at. If there is an allegation that this man is a shakedown artist without commenting on whether the allegation has merit, is unfounded or in fact is something that is true certainly an effort should be made in all instances. Maybe there will be other people who would come forward to say look I was a victim of a shakedown and those things should be examined.”

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