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Telemedia reserves say in how Net Vasquez will be dealt with for missing millions

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Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2020. 7:02 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While he and Tropical Vision Limited (Channel 7) have agreed to repay more than a million dollars owed between them to Belize Telemedia Limited, former chairman of the telecommunications giant Nestor “Net” Vasquez isn’t quite off the hook.

Vasquez as chairman racked up a bill of almost a million dollars in personal expenses that were charged to the company’s corporate credit card. He offered to settle some of the charges owed by Channel 7 through a 26-month advertising contract valued at $336,375 since rescinded.

New chairman Mark Lizarraga told reporters this week that the company is “mainly focused on recovery” of the funds, though has not ruled out criminal action.

“It is a matter that’s in the hands of the attorneys,” Lizarraga told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. “I understand that we have a commitment that the monies will be repaid and it’s just the transaction details that are being requested for verification from us, I guess, and we’re sending over all the bank statements, etc… which we have records for. But I understand that a commitment has been made to repay. I wouldn’t want to say more on that at this time because it could be a legal issue before us. This new board will pursue every avenue it has at its disposal to recover any monies that were not properly appropriated on B.T.L.’s behalf.”

Lizarraga added that “At some stage, I guess we’re going to have to get guidance from counsel as to whether there were in fact breach of laws as well. So I think that’s a different matter. Right now the primary goal for us is to get the recovery and to get recovery as soon as possible.”

The decision, he said later, would rest in the hands of an Internal Audit Committee answerable to a sub-committee of the Main Board.

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