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Nov 11, 2013

U.S. Missionary couple fined for failing to declare over $50,000

Gary West

An American couple, a Pastor and his wife, were detained by the police and taken to court for failing to declare some twenty-eight thousand U.S. dollars, that’s a little under fifty thousand dollars when entering the jurisdiction. The couple who is from Minnesota apparently came to Belize attempting to start a new church, but the efforts of the missionaries, started on the wrong foot. This morning, sixty-eight year old Pastor Gary West, and his sixty-seven year old wife, Evelyn Patnaude-West, a retired nurse aid, both pleaded guilty to Failing to Declare the money when they arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport last week Friday.  The couple arrived in Belize from the United States and while at the Customs Desk, they were asked if they had anything to declare, to which they replied no. But the customs officer on duty searched the luggage of Patnaude-West, where he found a whopping twenty-one thousand U.S. dollars which had not been declared.  When a search was conducted on Pastor West, seven thousand U.S. dollars were found in the pocket of his pants.  The couple was represented in court by Attorney Ellis Arnold, who made a mitigation plea on their behalf.   Arnold expressed the couple’s complete remorse for entering the country without declaring the money, but the couple told the court that they honestly did not know that they had to declare the money.

Evelyn Patnaude West

He also asked the court to consider that the couple had pleaded guilty, did not waste the court’s time and they were first-time offenders in the country.  After hearing the mitigation, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser fined Patnaude-West five thousand dollars to be paid forthwith while her husband was fined one thousand dollars also to be paid immediately. The fine was paid and authorities are reminding persons travelling in and out of the country that they are required to declare monies amounting to over five thousand U.S. dollars or ten thousand Belize dollars. Failure to do so is an offense.

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1 Response for “U.S. Missionary couple fined for failing to declare over $50,000”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    What a good example dam False prophet.What are they going to do next?Tax evasion.

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