West Michigan man speaks out from Costa Rican jail

JACO, COSTA RICA (WZZM) -- As we celebrate our freedom this Fourth of July weekend, a West Michigan man says his rights are being violated in a Costa Rican prison.

We first told you in March about Patrick Hundley being charged with fraud in Costa Rica.

On Friday, WZZM 13's Sarah Sell talked to Hundley.

"It's so crazy, Sarah, beyond my comprehension. I have a difficult time trying to explain it. It's a nightmare," he said.

Up until four months ago, the 46-year-old Grandville native was enjoying the high life. As the developer of several condominiums in Jaco, Costa Rica, Hundley was a prominent businessman in town. Now, he can only do interviews from his attorney's cell phone, in jail.

"It's, uh, terrible. I don't know what else to say. It's (expletive). I wouldn't let my dog stay here."

Hundley was taken into custody back in February and is being held on charges related to fraud and mismanagement of funds. It involves a piece of property in Costa Rica called Miro's Mountain.

Hundley says, "This is no more than a business dispute. I'm in prison over a business dispute."

Hundley is accused of getting investors to pay millions of dollars for the land. Most of the alleged victims are from West Michigan, and say they never got their shares of the property. Steve Afendoulis, one of the attorneys for the alleged victims, says, "Hundley put 100 percent of the property in his name and then refused to let anyone see the books."

Hundley is now being held on preventative detention, as the prosecution builds its case. He was given bond of $2 million -- a price Hundley says he's not willing to pay.

"This is extortion; it's somebody maliciously using the law to their advantage."

Afendoulis doesn't agree. He says it's no different than a jail in America. If you are facing charges, you can pay your bond, and get released, until your case is heard. Afendoulis says there have been several hearings since Hundley's arrest. Bail was lowered from $3 million to $2 million.

There is another hearing on Monday, where Hundley's bail could be reduced again, eliminated, or kept the same.


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