A land scam involving a highly connected Belize City resident is growing legs. Allegations against Edward Martinez continue to pour in and more Belizeans in the US have been calling this station claiming that they paid him for land and construction services which he never provided. On Thursday, we spoke to Dorothy Fairweather, who says she was tricked into getting friends and family to do business with Martinez. The premise was that he worked for the government and with the help of his brother, Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, he was assisting BELAMs to have their properties in order for when they are ready to return home. One of Fairweather’s friends who was allegedly scammed is Brenda Vellos, who met Martinez in 2011 and paid him to finish the work on two incomplete houses in Corozal. But Vellos says nothing has been done on either structure.
Via Phone: Brenda Vellos, Belizean American
“Mr. Eddie got on the phone with me and asked me to send him some money so we could start doing the business. So he told me it was going to be like eight thousand dollars; I went ahead and I sent him seven hundred in the beginning, five hundred—and these are US dollars—every other month until I completed eight thousand. Mr. Eddie promised that my house was going to be finished in three months, which he never did absolutely nothing; claimed it was always raining in Belize. He took the material to Corozal, promised to pay him rent, he never did. He asked one of my friends to put it on her porch and back yard and everywhere; the things got all messed up. He said don’t worry the government have plenty and a lot more that you can get from so don’t worry about whatever got messed up. I sent him all my money and so far I cannot get in touch with Mr. Eddie. I called him several times, I try to email him; he never answers me back. All I’m asking for is for my money back or if we need to go to court and settle this, however he wants to do it. He sent me pictures; what he did was took somebody else house and pretend it was my house. And I keep asking him, I said the windows don’t look the same because I had the structure already in Corozal and it’s only to fix up. He said, you know we did some different changes of them. I said okay, Mr. Martinez it’s in your hands, do whatever so it could look good and I went from there.”
“So when did you realize that those pictures actually weren’t your house?”
Via Phone: Brenda Vellos
“Miss Dorothy made a trip in Corozal and get to find out nothing he said was true, everything was wrong. And Miss Dorothy called me and said you know what, you guys need to come to Belize. I said I’m going in December and I sure did and I sure saw what she was telling me about the house; nothing was done, absolutely nothing.”
Belizean Americans keep calling about Martinez land scam
After seeing Thursday night’s interview with Dorothy Fairweather, Ethlyn Lindsey contacted our newsroom today, alleging that she has also been conned by Martinez. Lindsey says she sent money to him for a parcel of land in Rhaburn Ridge, but never received the land title. She claims that Martinez took her to see the property and promised to build a plycem house on it, but gave her the runaround whenever she asked for her papers. He eventually avoided her completely and she says the last time she was able to contact him was in 2010. Lindsey told News Five today that she is onboard with the other Belizeans in L.A. who want to seek legal action against Martinez.
Via Phone: Ethlyn Lindsey, Belizean American
“I sent him over three thousand, five hundred dollars or more concerning a piece of property dah Rhaburn Ridge because I was introduced to Mr. Martinez by a guy named Henry. I talked to Mr. Martinez and ih tell mi dat ih could get me a piece of property dah Rhaburn Ridge and a house pan it and a fish pond afta di land survey. Ih seh ih di try help Belizean Americans weh deh abroad fi afta a while when dehn come home, dehn have something fi come home to. I don’t have to worry, ih seh because ih bredda Boots Martinez dah di minister and he had everything under control, he wah mek sure everything go right fi Belizean Americans weh go abroad so I noh have to scared ah nothing. So I sent him the money and afta that I travelled to Belize about six months afta and gone dah his office. Ih tell mi fi full out di paper work concerning the land and I did. I full out one fi me and mi husband and mi daughter so dah three ah we. 03:47:25 Ih tell me noh worry about nothing, I wah get di property afta all di paper finish dah Lands Department. I kept calling, ih give me wah numba and I keep di call ah give me di run around. I gone back dah Belize again and when I gone back deh, I gone with one ha mi friend—I asked di guy fi go wid me concerning di land because he know about it; les go wid me go si Mr. Martinez because ih di push me round. We gone dah his office and ih seh yes, yoh noh have to worry, ih seh everything ok. Ih seh I noh get di papers back yet, ih she but soon as ih get back from Lands Department yoh wah get it. Before we lef, ih come down di step and ih seh you know yoh noh have to worry about nothing yoh know, ih seh because my bredda got my back. Ih seh I got all kinda strings eena den yah thing yoh know.”
We attempted to contact Martinez, but his phone kept going to voicemail.