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Andris Pukke Indicted in the U.S. For Multimillion Dollar Sanctuary Bay Fraud

Apr 11, 2023

Andris Pukke Indicted in the U.S. For Multimillion Dollar Sanctuary Bay Fraud

Back in November 2018, news broke of a multimillion-dollar real estate scam that had been operating in Belize for the better part of fifteen years. At the time, the Federal Trade Commission revealed that two-time convicted felon Andris Pukke, along with several associates, duped investors into buying Sanctuary Bay lots by falsely promising that the development would include luxury amenities. But, instead of investing in the development with the monies received, Pukke made off with millions of dollars that he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. The scam is the largest real estate fraud that the F.T.C. uncovered in its history. It also resulted in a number of civil suits against Sanctuary Bay. Well, the latest news on the Sanctuary Bay fraud is that Andris Pukke has been indicted in a Manhattan federal court for the crime of wire fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transaction, in connection with his embezzlement of more than thirteen million dollars from Sanctuary Bay. An April fifth release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, states that the forty-eight-year-old U.S. national was arrested in Los Angeles and presented before the Central District of California. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said of the matter “Andris Pukke sold residential lots in Belize with a promise to build out an affordable vacation and retirement community in a tropical paradise.  Instead, Pukke’s planned paradise turned out to be just a mirage, as he allegedly stole the very funds the development needed to pay for roads, utilities, and other infrastructure, leaving the lot buyers with nothing but land they cannot access or use.  This Office will continue to aggressively pursue consumer fraud to ensure that businesses deliver on their promises to their customers”. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and the unlawful monetary transactions charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. We will continue to follow.

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