EDITORIAL COMMENT:  “JB” – PNO went to great lengths when this post was uploaded to preface the following. A) It was a long email reply from a reader to another reader.  B) It reflected opinions of one person concerning an individual that we looked into. The claims against that person had moxie and indeed validity to them. Unlike other posts where I OPENLY state my name as author, this was clearly coming from a gentleman (Peter) and pointed to another (Rick). Both of whom have since spoken to each other and maintained their own dialogue independent of PNO. C) We stated at the bottom of the entry that these were opinions of one person.      It also started us learning more about the region of Bocas del Toro, and it was for issues completely unrelated to RED FROG BEACH whom Peter mentioned “his” issue was with.  My greater issue was for less than a few hectares on Isla Colon that an old friend had a squatter on.      We are adding editorial again, because it seems that this opinion of one reader has started a much larger involvement for PNO than anyone here wants.      It began in a very poor way, as my little opinion blog was attacked in comments and surly e-mails to me.  I have thick skin and trolls don’t scare me, but then a received a poorly formatted Cease and Desist. That only exacerbated the matter to a more combative rhetoric. An act that only immersed us further into something that is far more complicated than one readers’s opinion.  Said Cease and Desist was removed once dialogue was established. 

Since then, we have spoken to sides from both sides of the issue and have made attempts to understand things more.  PNO is not informed enough at this time to suddenly become the “SOURCE” of insight into this discord.  We take stories and try to share them with Ex-Pats in English from Panama.  We never had a category for “ISLAND LAND DISPUTES”.  We are continuing to hear matters from both sides and want to be able to share information without fanning further flames. 

Once we feel we have been able to hear answers from all sides of this, PNO will publish an “OPINION” that comes from US, and that will be that.  Until then, stop assuming this “one” opinion sent into us, is the end all be all on this topic. 

Please bother LA PRENSA, LA ESTRELLA, EL SIGLO, PANAMA AMERICA, or CRITICA. They are news sources. 

FOREWORD: by James “JB” Bryson

Whereas I spent my career working in the legal capacity in some form or fashion, I have spent a inordinate amount of my blog time digging into the political landmine field that is Panama. Coming from the United States and making this my new home, I find the parallels between the two to be quite fascinating. As such, going into PNO.com for 2018 I did not expect or anticipate to zero in on anything that would catch me off guard.

Well surprise, surprise….because that is exactly what happened. I am seeing now that my transition into retirement and the Ex-Pat community here was truly an exception to the rule in that it occurred fairly uneventful. We never considered anything outside of Panama City, and my contacts and friends in the legal arena were able to assure that we crossed every “T” and dotted every “I”.

What I was able to learn very hardly this past year, is the number of others that got royally screwed over and flat out LIED TO, STOLEN FROM, and MISLED when they tried to make their retirement paradise dreams come true.

Even more so, I learned the scariest three words to Ex-Pats-  BOCAS  DEL TORO.

What began as a trip with my friend to see about a few hectares he purchased that are now being squatted on, led me to meeting “Big Anthony”, who was working on a fraud case in Pedasi, which led to an interview, which led to numerous readers sending in posts and links to speak of their own horror stories. Particularly in BOCAS DEL TORO. And furthermore, particularly with a specific developer. (who associated with this individual) xx

One of the PNO.com readers went as far to provide a full blown expose on a horrible situation that occurred with his sister.

At his request I have attached his reply to one of the readers. I feel it deserves an audience.


I have read your posts and let me come right out and say what I FEEL.  And that is you should STEER CLEAR of RED FROG BEACH.
It is due to an experience that I had to go through with my sister and her husband that soured me on Panama and has me in Mexico as an alternative starting in 2020.
In my opinion, BOCAS is a lawless fools paradise and RED FROG are the slimiest culprits of anyone down there.
I compare it to the Middle East in terms of using the indigenous, uneducated, and desperate people of that region to operate a campaign of local intimidation and it creates a downright unsafe and very dangerous environment. One surrounded by natural beauty, but violent nonetheless.I spoke with James Bryson, prior to even responding to you as I wanted to make it clear that my opinion will be unfiltered as I have no dog in any fight in Panama. But my sister and her husband are bound and handcuffed through a settlement and NDA as it related to a case that was tried in the United States. Please read into the following.PILLAR PANAMA S.A ( merely Google it)  it may be back a few pages as RFB does a good job of using the search engines with different search methods to bury stuff down, but it is there when you look.This starts back in 2005 when my family first got involved with RED FROG BEACH.
And I will take you back to the beginning which at the time (2005), money was loose and it was before the credit crisis and the failure of the banking system. AKA right before the shit hit the fan.It all starts with a man named WRIGHT J. THURSTON. A purported investment guru, life coach, success speaker, rainmaker, that first got my family involved in RED FROG.
He cut a pretty believable jib upon first glance and especially at that time in 2005.
Allow me to cut to the chase and jump 13 years and tell you that this person is a GODDAMN SNAKE OIL SALESMAN and UTTER PILE OF LIES AND HORSESHIT of a degree of which few of you can imagine.
Remind you this is 13 years later and after exhaustive amount of legal and investigative work. But once again, you need only a computer with internet access to find all of this PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE for yourself.  So if someone wants to call me a liar, they are going to have to go after court records, judgments, television stations, and other news reporting agencies we found this information from.I am sharing with PNO.com, what it is that I found out during the legal process my family went through.  ALL OF THIS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE.Name: Wright J. Thurston


Fraudulent Capital raiser. Rainmaker. LLC Manipulator, Shielded Culpability Expert, Predictable game plan, Lack of Innovation, Pre-2008 Model, Data mined track record, easy to discredit, MLM dog shit.



(not “personally” libel, but please read entire indictment)








His son misled very much the same way. Apple not far from tree.



INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS GROUP   (1992)  Umbrella corp.

Public speaking, Rainmaking, Wealth Management, Scam starter


Horseshit seminars, all take place in 2 star hotels in BFE.


Standard pic of a 60 year old guy with hot piece of ass trophy wife. Elementary level skullfuckery

WEALTH NETWORK.COM-  website to promote false wealth claims and real estate portfolio


“Wright and his wife Janett are also Executive Directors with Melaleuca, Inc., an Inc. 500 company for five consecutive years. They have won the prestigious “President’s Club” for two different years.”

NOT a FORTUNE 500 company according to Bloomberg, as led to believe. It was at a time listed as an INC “Magazine” list of growing companies. It is also a MLM based product company much like AMWAY, in that you need to find people to sell under you to make money. And NO Executive Directors listed in HISTORY of company, only 1 CEO.  NO history of “Executive Directors”. Legit company, but no verification of ANY involvement of Thurston.

SPIREPOINT   (2017)   Bitcoin

New dogshit, no verifiable ways to exhibit the gains he claims to make. Cypto currency not regulated until or when redeemed into recognizable and taxable legal tender.


*May 2017, KLOUT Ranked #1 Expert Worldwide for Inspiration, Top 5 for Leadership *Worked for IBM from 1976-83 *Property Owner & Investor since ’76 *International Speaker, Coach, & Mentor since 1984*Clients in 60+ countries *Author *Lived in the US, England & Italy *Married 43+ years to my wife Janett….

“KLOUT” is a disbanded and discredited and obsolete web based measuring system that is no longer used. Acquired by Lithium Technologies in and ceased operations in May 2018. Proven after Facebook controversy,  that fake people could be used through social media to create an elevated KLOUT score. Never a category listed for “Inspiration” in archive. No documentation of Top 5 for “Leadership”.

He claims to be a Real Estate  mogul, yet currently owns ZERO personal property in his home state of Utah. Everything in LLCs or SCorps. Not even a Homesteaded Property. Had primary residence taken by bank in 1988 (Lomas Mortgage Company) via foreclosure.

Rick, my family paid lawyers and investigators for this information and you can have it for FREE. If there are discrepancies, I am sure they say there are two sides to present. I say “where there is smoke there is fire!”, and it is that fire that burned my sisters money to ashes with their duplicity and lack of transparency selling dogshit pipe dreams.

Now that you know this guy was a BULLSHIT ARTIST, know that from the moment my sister and her husband got involved, it started a whirlwind of correspondence back and forth relating to the “Titling” of the properties. Which can be attributed to the same USING of people in that area to squat on property. EVERYONE is ALWAYS suing someone in BOCAS as it relates to land. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS.  Scummy attorneys that could not serve food in the United States are lawyers in Bocas del Toro and using shady tricks and bribes to get things done or not done. As a province in the country of Panama it is the Wild Wild West, look not further than every political official claiming crimes of bribery on all levels of the government.
That is what got me reading the PNO.com site. Everything with Odebrecht, and bribes and scams. It is a scary place to operate.

Getting back to Red Frog and the founders Joseph “Joe” Haley and Wright Thurston.   I went with my sister and her husband to see RED FROG the undiscovered new Jewel of the Caribbean.  After agreeing to buy and signing on the dotted line is when the real mess began.  Huge delays in construction for starters.   Then a labor strike that many of the first buyers believe was induced by the ownership as a ploy to re-capitalize the company and renegotiate with buyers based on their inability to deliver on what they sold!!!   Whether that’s truly what happened or not the result is factual.  As a result of their nearly 2 year long strike it led to a reorganization of the development company and buyers were left with the choice accept the offer we are making you or lose everything and we go under.  I have recorded owners calls that clearly amount to extortion in my mind.   After all of that when villas began to be delivered the finished product of the actual property was still flawed and not up to snuff.
The next big issue….   WHAT DO YOU REALLY OWN?   Where’s the title??  My sister wasn’t the only victim she became close with several other “owners” a term I use loosely better to use the term “buyers” because she became close with several of the other victims and still remains in contact and some after 13 years have a house or part of a house but still no title!!!!   Now Wright Thurston who coaxed her into the investment is no longer listed on any website as an owner, manager or holds no position but still preaches of his involvement, ownership etc as he continues to fleece unwitting victims of his newer invest scams.   My sisters friends “buyers” have been devastated financially as a result of buying at Red Frog.  Many used their retirement savings have no title so for all intents and purposes can’t sell what they own.   Many bought back then as the project was touted as being developed as a golf course development designed by the great Arnold Palmer!  That was huge for my sister as her husband is an absolute golf junkie  and the value of a home on the Caribbean with an Arnold Palmer signature golf course would surely be a great investment to later sell or for rental income either or both right?  WRONG!!!!    The amazing Arnold Palmer course promoted and sold by Wright Thurston and Joe Haley was NEVER approved to be build and as a result was never built.  Another of the broken promises that helped push many investors over the edge to say yes and “write the check”!  My sisters was to be used as an incoming producing rental when not being used by her.   Even today my sister settled after suing them in the US but she still goes and visits staying at friends properties.  Their website looks still looks all nice and glitzy, but you arrive to see people that look homeless and unprofessional and speak little to NO ENGLISH when I was there last and our boat arrived at the site.  ZERO sense of security or organization. Just some fat guy with a dirty RED FROG STAFF t-shirt and a baseball cap. The terrain was rocky and only one golf cart was working at the time we arrived.   But I do have to say it’s still quite beautiful there.  The sad part is they continue to fleece new investors largely in part by the fact that there is a beautiful marina they have built along with many homes.  Seeing is believing after all.  We are not talking about what my sister did.  She was sold on pictures, brochures and promises which turned out to be lies by both Joe and Wright.  What really gets me is still today they are selling people on what they don’t have to keep their machine running and funded.  They hide the fact that many titles are still owed to initial buyers.  To those buyers they blame government of Panama.  They show emails they write to the embassy and even to the president of Panama asking their own victims to join in and write themselves as if the developer has been victimized but that isn’t the case.   The government didn’t sign contracts promising to deliver these buyers a villa or a condo with a titled property Red Frog did!  Wright Thurston did and Joe Haley did and still does!!!   Do you think now as part of their sales program when someone is about to buy one of their new condos they say to them we just need you to sign here acknowledging that we told you we may not be able to provide you with a titled property or that we need to let you know we have buyers from back in 2005, 6, 7 and 8 that still don’t have registered titles for what they bought?

For that reason I am writing to Rick and to you JB and ask that you put this information out to your readers which is 100% accurate and cannot be disputed.  “Caveat Emptor” Buyer Beware when comes to anything in Bocas del Toro but especially the Red Frog Beach Development and anyone looking to follow the investment advice from Mr. Wright Thurston Esq.

The internet is flush with links from reputable sources that show the type of people used to seduce, influence, and prosper from getting people to make BAD investments. RED FROG BEACH used and profited from using these people, and have been working desperately to hide their shady and sullied past from possible “new” future suckers.  DON’T BE ONE OF THEM.  

* The above was a direct posting of the opinions of a PNO.com reader. PNO.com performed all of the Due Diligence on the links provided to determine their authenticity. Requests for the actual documents pertaining to the settlement in regards to PILLAR PANAMA were denied. Any personal opinions regarding any particular people named in his editorial are those of him and him alone.
It is the opinion of myself in accordance with the things I have seen with my own eyes, as well as the many other stories shared with me in regards to Bocas del Toro, that at the very least, one should venture into that area only after much investigation and with serious trepidation.

Quite simply a very personal THANK YOU.
You obviously had a ton of this pent up to write something so detailed and informative.
I am very fortunate to have visited this site, and to be privy to all this information.

Sincere Thanks

( received today)

Hi Rick,

I hope you are well.

Many of our buyers are primarily investors. The investment income can cover all expenses, which makes it a really attractive deal.

We would be happy to talk with you to find out more about how you can get in on real estate in Panama. And if you have been considering Panama in the past, there is no better time than the present.

Hit reply, I will respond right away.


Sina Pfau

Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Phone Panama: (+507) 833-7753
Phone USA: 888-220-5602

Lawless SHITHOLE. People DIE in that place. Whether it is a ridiculously dangerous rip current they fail to mention on the site, only pictures of calm, tranquil, waters.
People literally going on a hike and never coming back.

Stay Away.

More correspondence sent from Sales;

I wanted to sum up the opportunity at Red Frog Beach. Compared to other Caribbean island developments we are a fraction of the cost with enormous upside potential — your timing is great!

20 Reasons to Invest in Panama and Red Frog Beach

1.The fastest-growing economy in Latin America (The International Monetary Fund)
2.One of the best GDP rates in the last decade
3.The most globalized country in Latin America (Latin Business Chronicle)
4.The fastest-growing tourism market in Latin America (The World Tourism Organization)
5.Number #1 “best place in the world to retire to” (International Living 2016)
6.The world’s 8th most free economy (Frazier of Canada)
7.15% year over year tourism growth rate (Panama Department of Tourism)
8.Economic growth in Panama has topped 8 percent in the last five years, making the country the envy of Latin America –
9.Travel & Leisure #1 Place to Go in 2016 (Bocas del Toro)
10.Best Leisure Development in Panama – American Property Awards
11.Rent the property while you are not there – strong rental projections with this new upcoming resort!
12.Top 10 Caribbean Islands to Live On – Islands of Bocas del Toro featuring Red Frog Beach – Islands.com 2016
13.2018 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
14.CNN Travel has Panama as one of the top places to travel
15.Voted One of the World’s Best Secret Beaches (The Travel Channel)
16.One of the Hottest Beaches in Central America (Forbes Traveler)
17.Top 20 Oceanfront Development by OceanHome Magazine
18.Bocas del Toro rated one of the top places to retire in the world (Kiplinger.com) { And get Murdered on } ***
19.Hurricane Free Zone { But Riptides that will pull you to Greece } ***
20.Property is adjacent to environmentally protected National Marine Park { Property that people bought in 2008 and still don’t have title} ***

Tropical Regards,

Sina Pfau

{Everyone knows Panama is beautiful and a growing country, but what am I actually “buying”} BE HONEST

My wife and I were the first and only residents of Red Frog Beach living full time for three years in Number 11 at the top of the hill. There was nobody on the project other than a couple of striking workers and local bureaucrats in funny hats who we befriended with much vino. During this time we were easily able to out frog Mr Haley and the floss he attracted by simply being ahead on every amateur move they tr​i​ed to oust us from the their then abandoned project in the plausible deniable name of a strike. We documented the actuality at Red Frog Beach as it happened though from December 2005 to June 2009. With two hundred or so followers who had wired $ to secure their place this imaginary retirement community we reported and photographed the actual facts on the ground on a daily basis. Bent by the original story teller Mr Harris they watched our Robinson Crusoe retirement in disbelief as we reported on a few truly competent employees who arrived and briefly provided emotional hope only to be discarded by the classic means of unfulfilled promises and empty pay checks. It is too easy to forget in these days of lying as a legitimatized political/business tactic but many of our followers simply refused to believe our documented evidence to the contrary and labeled us as a fake news source before it was trumpeted as the American way in 2016. We know none of the then current players and customers who’s experience did not dovetail with the original article referenced yet Sina Pfau etal continues the Haley/Harris tradition of presenting fiction as fact.

Thank you very much for the much appreciated reply you sent.
At PNO.com, I have spent so much time helping friends and families who have been scammed or fleeced due to people like the ones you mentioned.
All across Panama, but in BDT it seemed particularly rampant.

If you would like to tell your story anonymously and post to the 3500 visitors I have each day, please feel free to submit an OP ED piece to me.


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