Between March and April, OFAC sanctioned more than 20 companies linked to the Nueva Generación Jalisco Cartel, which was dedicated to defrauding Americans.
The disappearance, in Zapopan, of seven young people who worked in a call center, led to the issue of timeshare fraud carried out by one of the criminal organizations with the largest presence in the country: the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG).
Jalisco authorities searched a couple of properties in the La Estancia and Jardines Vallarta neighborhoods. In those addresses they found documents with a list of names of foreigners, drugs, departmental cards, “membership notes or timeshares, and economic goals to be achieved.”
This is part of the first indications to locate the brothers Itzel Abigail and Carlos David, as well as Carlos Benjamín, Arturo, Jesús Alfedo, Mayra Karina and Jorge Miguel, whose whereabouts are unknown to date.
Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruiz, Attorney General of Jalisco, reported last Friday that it was a call center that offered timeshares to foreigners.
“We can talk about the issue of selling timeshares with hotel chains. With the information that the families give us in the complaints, they say that in some cases they were dedicated to the collection of overdue mortgage loans, but it is a line that we are working on, ”he indicated.
The CJNG business
Timeshare is an alternative to market a property intended to accommodate tourists or foreigners during vacation periods. However, it can also be used as a scam, where the scammer offers to rent an address in exchange for an advance payment.
However, once the payment is made, the property is not sold or rented, so the scammer disappears with the affected person’s money.
In early March, the US Treasury Department sanctioned eight Mexican companies linked to the CJNG, which were engaged in defrauding tourists and foreign residents in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) explained that the companies involved had a modus operandi very similar to the lodging alternative known as “timeshares.”
To carry out this fraud, timeshare owners receive purchase offers through emails or calls from third parties who claim to have buyers ready.
In case the offers are accepted, the owners are requested to pay in advance to supposedly expedite the sale. After the payments are made, the victims realize that the offers were fictitious.
On that occasion, the companies linked to the CJNG were identified as Servicios Administrativos Fordtwoo S.A. de C.V., Integration Badeva S.A. de C.V., JM Providers Office S.A. de C.V., Promoter Vallarta One S.A. de C.V. and Recservi S.A. de C.V., located in Puerto Vallarta.
The rest of the companies that were also sanctioned, and whose headquarters are located in Guadalajara, were Corporativo Título I S.A. de C.V., Corporativo TS Business Inc S.A. de C.V. and TS Business Corporativo S.A. de C.V.
The Treasury Department warned that these scams could steal “lifetime savings” from US citizens, in addition to the fact that the frauds represented a “significant source of income” for the criminal activities carried out by the CJNG.
On April 27, OFAC sanctioned seven people and 19 other Mexican companies, since they would be “directly or indirectly linked to the timeshare fraud ” by the CJNG.
“The deep involvement of the CJNG in the timeshare fraud of tourist goods in the Puerto Vallarta area and in other places often affects elderly United States citizens,” explained the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson.
Among the people involved was Eduardo Pardo Espino, a CNG financial operator who worked at Fordtwo Administrative Services, a company that has made direct payments to members of said criminal organization.
The rest of the companies sanctioned by OFAC were identified as Besthings, S. A. de C.V. (travel agency), Produzioni Peca, S. de R.L. de C.V. (wholesale trade), RH Litman, S. de R.L. de C.V. (business support), Servicios Administrativos Dantwoo, S.A. de C.V. (business support), and Sociedad Spa Peninsula, S. de R.L. de C.V. (beauty salon).
Like AKA Integral Services, S. de R.L. de C.V. (construction), Envigh, S. de R.L. de C.V. (real estate), Suncan Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. (real estate), and Trados Comercio, S. de R.L. de C.V. (construction), Constructores B2, S.A. de C.V. (business support). Corporate Business Mx Insider S.A. de C.V. (real estate), Asesores y Promoters ACG, S.A. de C.V. (business support), Resguardo de Valores y Servicios Integrales RSVI, S.A. de C.V. (travel agency), Corporativo T Service Inc S.A. de C.V., Corporativo Legal Support Recovery S.A. de C.V., NT Insurance Corporativo S.A. de C.V. and T Service Business Inc S.A. de C.V.