The text of the lawsuit establishes that during the past six years, Paragon Properties of Costa Rica, a Hollywood-based company, received money from over 900 U.S. retirees, promising to build residences in various Costa Rican communities, insisting that unhappy investors would receive 100% of their money back.
Lorena Fox, a resident from Davie, believed in the dream offered by Paragon properties, as did many others. She wanted a piece of heaven, a tropical retreat home where the air is clean and warm, and the people and stressful lifestyle of southern Florida is far, far away. Four years and $115.000 later, William Gale, owner of Paragon, has nothing for her. Not even one of Paragon clients has their home built, according to the court’s documents.
The president of Paragon Properties has alleged that the 16 communities – initially conceived for the Costa Rican Pacific coastline – have been grinded to a halt due to the economic crisis and red tape obstacles when obtaining local construction permits. “We don’t have the money”, he said. “The money is gone, but we are still working for our customers”.
The Superintendency of Banks has warned that the company, which is under intervention in Colombia, is not authorized to take investments from the public directly or indirectly.
Representatives of the company Emgoldex in Panama have not yet been located by the financial market authorities, who did detect some so called "premium" customers of the company, who invited other potential investors to invest $700 so that they in turn could introduce two other people into the scheme in exchange for a bond equivalent to $4000.
The vitamin supplements company will have to restructure its multi-level marketing operation and pay $200 million in compensation to the affected distributors.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the multinational company Herbalife will have to pay $200 million in compensation to consumers / distributors who were tricked with promises of earning sums of money that never appeared.
While in Colombia the activities of the company have already been outlawed, in Panama regulatory gaps have prevented a clear definition about the company from being made.
An article in Prensa.com reports that "... the Superintendency of Banks (SBP) and the Securities Market of Panama (SMV), jointly issued a statement in which they asked the Public Ministry (MP) to investigate Emgoldex Panama in order to determine whether activities totaling about six months in the country "are framed as criminal behavior in criminal law."
It is reported that up to 30% of Costa Rica's real estate offers may hide some sort of fraud.
Before considering investing or purchasing a property in Costa Rica, two key issues must be taken into consideration:
-Costa Rica's complex legal system is based in the old Napoleonic Code, and its general motto is "If there's no blood, there's no damage". Taking a civil issue to the courts costs a lot of time and money.
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