The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started a legal action against Andris Pukke and five other defendants in regard to a massive real estate scam allegedly masterminded by Pukke, a previously convicted scammer. Pukke sold undeveloped lots in the Central American country of Belize that he represented were to be a part of a luxury development. The development used several different names including Sanctuary Belize, Sanctuary Bay and The Reserve. Victims of the scam were lured in by advertisements on Fox News and Bloomberg News as well as through infomercials. The ads were riddled with false representations including the claim that all of the money obtained through the lot sales went back into the development. The lots sold for between $150,000 and $500,000 and all in all, victims of the scams lost more than 100 million dollars making this the biggest overseas real estate scam ever investigated by the FTC. The FTC has obtained a temporary restraining order shutting down the scam while its case proceeds in court.
The FTC is still gathering information from the victims of the scam and is asking anyone who may have been a victim of the scam to contact the FTC at this website.
It is always important to remember that merely because an advertisement appears in legitimate media does not mean that the company sponsoring the advertisement is legitimate. No one should ever buy real estate without the assistance of a lawyer and you should be particularly wary and careful when considering purchasing real estate in a foreign country.
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