MARCO CARUSO PLACENCIA DEVELOPMENT FRAUD??

Marco Caruso
Marco Caruso

VICTIMS & WHISTLE-BLOWERS URGED TO COME FORWARD

Millions of Dollars, in what is being called a major fraud scheme allegedly perpetrated by Marco Caruso and his associates.

According to the allegations Marco Caruso and Michela Bardini of Placencia Residences in Belize enticed and misrepresented investment opportunities in various resort development and residential projects in Southern Belize.

The development Projects in Belize include:

  • COPAL BEACH RESORT
  • PLANCENCIA ESTATES AND PANTHER GOLF CLUB
  • RENDEVOUS ISLAND RESORT
  • THE MARINA AT THE PLANCENCIA
  • PLANCENCIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
  • THE MARINA VILLAGE AT THE PALENCIA

This was posted on Facebook on July 23rd, 2020 by Gina Gray.  The contented has been edited for clarity.   

BELIZE FIREWORKS POST!!—Opportunistic Duo at Mile 13 in Placencia Use the Covid 19 Shut Down to Escalate Their Agenda to Prey on Foreign Investors

My name is Gina Gray, and I OWN a Villa on the beach and “an empty lot” at Mile 13 in Placencia that I purchased in 2012. It’s located within “The Placencia” which is a property that is constantly presented to the public eye as “The Beauty of Belize.” However, when you arrive at Mile 13, you would have to literally be blind to not notice the apocalyptic scene immediately prior to the Casino entrance.     The developers of this empire are Marco Caruso and Michela Bardini, an Italian Duo who are professional con artists. The unfinished structure, fenced off with  rusted tin wall, is a poor attempt to hide one of the first stages within their ruse to romance foreigners into investing millions of dollars in developments that never came to fruition.

These UNFINISHED sites include a large retail center, medical facility, marina community, airport project, golf course community and prestigious residential community which largely remain mere concrete structures.    .

I also have photos of the “prestigious residential community” called “The Residences of Placencia” where Caruso-Bardini live in a “pre-fab” house.  This very large “Italian style” UNFINISHED estate near the South end of “The Residences” is their very own INCOMPLETE home which they use to lure investors to purchase lots and build homes within the development.  In most cases Caruso acts as the developer and builder.

My lot on the lagoon side remains empty because I was not able to get title to the land even though I paid for it in advance. In fact, many of the people who invested their   retirement funds   LOST it all.

Caruso’s crafty stratagem used for selling and financing the properties, as well as the condominium units within “The Placencia,” included a very simple transfer of retirement funds from PENSCO Trust Fund Co (part of Pacific Premier Trust used to facilitate self- directed IRA’s), This made the transaction fast and simple so investor funds could flow into “The Placencia Group, LLC” bank account rapidly. By 2017, PENSCO no longer allowed investments in Belize because their deceptive practices had been uncovered.

The Italian Duo, Marco Caruso and Michela Bardini are the developers of this empire. They are professional con artists who have been preying on foreign investors, mainly from Canada and the USA, for well over a decade.  I have absolute proof of their facilitated process whereby they avoid paying the foreign exchange rate to Central Bank of Belize—which handily renders the transfer of land title unattainable.  

Caruso and Bardini also receive an extremely reduced rate for property taxes paid to the Land’s Department on their developments. When the property is transferred the tax rate increases drastically when a “foreign investor” submits a Transfer of Title request. This effectively stops the process because of the high tax rate hinders further development.

(The last time I counted, there are 8 skeletal UNFINISHED houses that symbolically represent dead retirement dreams of honest people who trusted the Caruso-Bardini Duo to use their hard-earned money to build a home on the lot they purchased for between $250-$400,000 US dollars plus the cost to have the Duo build their home.)  In addition to their tax schemes they also manipulate the hotel tax they pay into the BTB by fraudulently reporting the rentals they collect, which benefits their overall tax evasion scheme, and literally takes tax dollars right out of Belizean hands.

I spent 6 months living in Belize in 2018, attempting to procure the land titles to the 2 properties I rightfully own. I paid the Caruso-Bardini Duo over $700,000 US dollars, and I have an extremely detailed map following the money trail from my bank account to theirs, “The Placencia Group, LLC”. This detail was given to the FIU of Belize for their investigation, with no efforts taken by them to date. The trail starts with transfer of my funds into their bank account, then continues into convoluted darkness as the process begins toward attainment of the “ultimate fruit of the land purchase” or the elusive Land Title. “   

The issue of who holds the title to my land is in question.  During the first court hearing, The attorney representing Caruso proclaimed that, “Obligation to comply with the Foreign Exchange Act was JOINT” meaning I, the Purchaser, was obligated to pay the exchange rate for the sale’s transaction when I purchased land from the Caruso-Bardini Duo, not them, as the Sellers.

This is still unresolved, even though during the hearing, I offered to PAY THE EXCHANGE RATE amount that was due based on the sales contract in order to get my Land Title. Judge Shona Griffith ruled that my title would NEVER be issued because the “transaction was non-compliant with the Foreign Exchange Control Act.” However, she threw me a bone when she did not render my contract void, so I would be able to sue the sellers in a separate case! Does this sound anything like JUSTICE? (The entire Ruling can be seen on the “web” if you search Supreme Court of Belize, Claim No. 357 of 2019.)

It seems Caruso and Bardini are now taking advantage of the current lockdown to advance yet another wave of corruption and strategic robbery from foreign investors who are now locked out of Belize. I know that “The Placencia” has been accommodating guests for many weeks now, since the Covid-19 pandemic has been engulfing the world. They proudly post photos of this activity. It’s created yet another perfect environment for the Caruso-Bardini Duo, who are now partnered with another like-minded corrupt parasitical entity, Muy’Ono, to steal rental dollars from owners of condominium units within “The Placencia”.

(Gray alleges Caruso, Bardini and Muy’Ono rent owner’s condos out, per agreement, but keep the rental income for themselves)

These two greedy entities, make their fortune usurping rental money from owners once we’ve returned to our own countries. They survive like the parasites they are, profiting from rental money they collect from vacationers, but never honor the foreign owners by passing the funds back into our bank accounts. Nor do they pay their obligatory dues back to the BTB in order to benefit the citizens of Belize.

I learned this truth by walking into the BTB office myself, and requesting evidence of taxes that were paid on the rentals reported for my Villa since my ownership. I was first told this was impossible because “The Placencia” had failed to report rental income PER RENTAL UNIT AS REQUIRED over the past years. My next visit, the message to me changed to ,”I had no right to that information” even though I AM the rightful owner. This translates to, in Belize, foreign owners have NO rights. My next inquiry, I was told I needed to get that information from “The Placencia” which is why I feel like the quest to attain things like a return on your investment or even your Land Title in Belize is like getting lost in one of their dark Caves. I’ve been fighting this for years, since 2012, with no resolution.

As if that’s not bad enough, now that we’re locked out of the country, here’s their new game. Last weekend, I took a reservation from a local Belizean guest who arrived at my villa for a weekend stay. When they entered my villa, there was no electricity or water. When they asked at the reception area for it to be turned on, their request fell on deaf ears. They were forced to leave since they could not be properly accommodated. The resort was open and guests were all around being served—just not MY guests! The Caruso-Bardini Duo takes these actions because they believe they are entitled to my property, and they have benefitted financially from that modus operandi for the past 8+ years.

This is just a small portion of my “UNBELIZABLE STORY” regarding my incredibly disappointing investment in real estate in Belize. I do not regret my investment in the beautiful country or the lovely indigenous people. I will remain passionately invested in those things and their causes. My regret is getting caught in the web of corruption that is deeply connected from Mile 13 in Placencia to Belize City and it’s attached to every important government office in between!.  I’ve been attempting to procure my Land Title, and attain a legitimate return on my financial investment in rental income property at “The Placencia” for a much-needed break from the darkness. I’ve returned to the USA to investigate some expanded options available to me from “this side”. Social media is our only resource at this time in our world, and the platform has become incredibly powerful. So, it’s time for me to make use of it.

VICTIMS & WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE URGED TO CONTACT THIS FORUM}

If you are a victim of a similar fraud or should you have information that may assist the victims in this alleged fraud scheme PLEASE contact this forum and you will be put in touch with an investigator working with the legal team in this matter. All information will be treated as confidential.

IFA@cmail.nu

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