Investor group reveals an elaborate Ponzi scheme in Turks and Caicos. High Point Organization of Kissimmee, Florida has allegedly swindled investors out of $70 M. The Caicos Beach Resort and Marina had to be developed but investors claimed that the developer had no intention of building the resort and the development was a scam to steal the funds.
The Developers allegedly used the funds on living lavishly. Calls from investors were ignored and the developers allegedly threatened investors that they would use the stolen funds to fight them in court. Highpoint begun selling units in 2001 in “Forward Purchase Agreements”. In 2008, the resort was nowhere close to competition and the developers used a clause “force majeure” in the contract to claim substantial damage to the structure due to hurricanes, even if there was no substantial damage. This clause allowed them to withhold investor funds indefinitely.
UK agents made sizable commission on the sale of the units. One Agent changed the name of the resort in their brochure while inflating the funding received to obscure the truth that the development was a scam. With funds running out High point attempted to lure more investors into the scam by providing false information to a surveyor, who estimated the value of the resort at $300M and claimed that it was 70-80% complete. The resort was sold unknown to investors for $3.7M in 2015.
Investors claim that the Government put no effort in investigating the fraudsters and wasting investor’s time by setting meeting which never came to fruition.