Thursday, April 18, 2024

Costa Rican national remanded for defrauding Belizean beach resorts


San Pedro Police formally charged 39-year-old Costa Rican national Christopher D’Angelo Alvarado Marchena for “Obtaining Property by Deception, Possession of Counterfeit Currency, and Possession of Controlled Drugs.” Marchena was detained after being accused of orchestrating a fraudulent scheme that defrauded two high-end Belizean beach resorts of thousands of dollars in unpaid services.
Marchen was arraigned at the San Pedro Magistrate Court on Thursday, February 29th, where he pled guilty to Possession of Controlled Drugs and was fined BZ$500 for this offense. Marchena, however, pled not guilty to the Counterfeit and Obtaining Property by Deception charges. He was then denied bail and remanded to Kolbe Foundation- Belize Central Prison until his next court date on May 15, 2024.
According to reports, Marchena checked in at Itz’Ana, a resort in Placencia, on February 5th under the name Nicolas Paula. He extended his stay until February 14th, promising the hotel management that payment would be wire-transferred. Without notice, he fled the resort, owing US$13,525.55. The resort’s financial controller filed a police report immediately after, and a hunt began for Marchena.
The fraudulent tourist then went to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where he allegedly used another bogus name and checked in on February 23rd at Villa Abrazos Resort on Seagrape Drive. According to the report by the resort’s general manager, Marchena presented himself as a Colombian tourist. On his cell phone, he showed the hotel staff a picture of his supposed Colombian passport named Edwin Arley Gallego Avendano.
The investigation revealed that he stayed in an oceanfront suite at the San Pedro resort for nine days, with an additional suite and service room for his purported associates and security detail. The bill amounted to US$47,659.50. When questioned about payment, Marchena claimed he could only arrange a wire transfer. He provided screenshots and banking details of pending transactions and assured the resort’s management that payment would be complete by February 26th. However, this did not happen, and the following day, a report was made to the San Pedro Police. The bill, by this time, had inflated to US$50,104.46.
Marchena was detained and taken to the San Pedro Police Station, where he remained until Thursday, February 29th, before being arraigned. Marchena’s case will continue in the courts as he fights the cases. However, this is not the first time Christopher D’Angelo Alvarado Marchena has been accused of defrauding properties. He is also suspected of being involved in a rental property scam in his native Costa Rica.

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