McMurrain in mental hospital, sentencing hearing postponed

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The sentencing hearing for Tom McMurrain has been postponed by the US district court. McMurrain was arrested in Panama last year and extradited to Atlanta, Georgia, where he faced charges for fraud in a case about a scam he operated there in the nineties. In Panama, he ran San Cristobal Land Development, a scam in which he lured clients into investing in teak and noni plantations which never materialized. The scheme collapsed after this journalist had exposed it in The Panama News and on this website.

According to a court document, McMurrain has been admitted to a mental hospital suffering from a mental disease and the judge has now ordered the sentencing hearing to be postponed pending the outcome of a psychiatric evaluation, but no later than October 1st.

While he was still in Panama, McMurrain excelled in sending bizarre email threats to anyone who would expose his fraudulent activities. He also ordered his goon squad to follow the author of this article around 24 hours per day. He sued for criminal libel, but lost that case before it even went to trial. None of the setbacks in Panama stopped him from promoting ever more grandioso sounding investment schemes through the internet.

After his arrest and extradition, principal Barry J. Miller and sales director Peter Ernst continued business under a new name and from a secret location, "Tropic Star Properties."

We learned today that San Cristobal is being unwound and that a curator has been appointed to see that assets are distributed among the many creditors.

Panama's "Comision Nacional de Valores" (CNV), the equivalent of the US' SEC, has meanwhile been investigating a public offering by SCLD to buy securities for one of its failed plantations. The prospectus had been authored by Barry J. Miller. The CNV informed us that they warned the local authorities of Bocas del Toro and the Colon province for San Cristobal's activities.

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