Investor Marco Caruso is the name behind some mega projects in Placencia, but recently he's been in trouble with financial regulators in Canada - which may have something to do with why many of the projects are also mega-unfinished.
The Ontario Securities Commission recently sanctioned Caruso and others in his investment group for violating securities regulations.
The commission says Caruso and Canyon Acquisitions, which is Caruso's group "offered investors the opportunity to acquire..interests in condominiums, villas or boat slips in a…real estate projects in the Dominican Republic and Belize." But securities investigators found that they weren't actually buying real estate - they were buying investment contracts and which are securities under Ontario laws - and have to be reported and regulated.
307 Ontario residents bought 17.1 million Canadian dollars of the investment contracts for projects in Belize involving Caruso and his companies.
In a settlement with the Commission, Caruso and his associates admitted to breaching the Securities Act and agreed to pay fines, penalties and refunds of more than 3 million Canadian dollars.
They are also suspended from acting as directors of companies registered with the securities commission.
Caruso and his associates sent out a release on Friday saying that quote, "the matter was merely administrative, with no suggestion or implication of fraud or intentional wrongdoing."
The article continues to say that "Now that this matter is successfully behind us…The Placencia development is poised for a highly successful future."
Marco Caruso is quoted as saying that quote, "the largest and most significant real estate development in the country and key infrastructure project for Belize such as Placencia International Airport, both have a clear path to ultimate success."