The turmoil on Wall Street seemingly has seeped into Costa Rica, as the owner of a large tract of land here stands accused of fraud, the Wall Street Journal reported on May 7.
The assets of a company controlled by Danny Pang, a California-based financier who a 2,000-acre oceanfront property in the southern Pacific zone, were frozen after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that Pang defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of dollars by misrepresenting investments, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The SEC ordered him to “repatriate assets sent overseas and to turn over to the court all of his passports” by the end of April.
The SEC alleges that Pang, – who heads the Irvine, CA,-based Private Equity Management Group, Inc., was involved in a so-called Ponzi scheme in which he falsely claimed that investor returns would come from proceeds on insurance policy investments when, in fact, they came from money raised by new investors.
The SEC also alleges that Pang lured investors by presenting false credentials.
The commissions says that he falsely posed as a former vice president of Morgan Stanley & Co. and that he claimed to hold an master’s in business administration from the University of California at Irvine.
“Pang’s alleged use of phony credentials and false insurance coverage to guarantee his investments underscores how critical it is for investors to exercise due diligence before entrusting their savings to promoters,” said Rosalind R. Tyson, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, in a statement.
Pang’s Costa Rica property, known as Punta Dominical, boasts two miles of coastline and is one of the largest parcels of land susceptible to development in the area. Previous owners had begun development of several residential communities on the property.