An American fund manager from New York pleaded guilty this week to falsely claiming that he was collecting funds to be used to build an airport in Belize.
Brent Borland, 48, collected $22m from his victims over a four-year period between 2014 and 2017.
According to the indictment, he directed some $6m of that money to pay off his $2.7m credit card debt, as well as property taxes on his mansion in Florida, a Mercedes SUV, school fees for his children and $36,000 for his family’s beach club membership.
Borland, the owner of a Manhattan-based alternative investment firm called Borland Capital Group, pleaded guilty to selling $22m in promissory notes for the airport, which he said was to be built near the town of Placencia, on a Caribbean peninsula.
Prosecutors said Borland promised double-digit return for those willing to provide temporary "bridge" financing for project.
Borland said he was using real estate as collateral for the loans, but used the same land for multiple investors.
All Borland’s investors lost all their money. He will be sentenced in June, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Image: Placencia, Belize (Pgbk87 /CC BY-SA 3.0)