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Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: January 24, 2015

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

CANCUN: This week I’m concentrating on alleged scammers operating out of Cancun, in particular a fellow named Giorgio Tarabusi, a Frenchman who has lived in Mexico for a couple of decades. Tarabusi allegedly operates a title transfer service (a la Keith Kosco) called Equity Acquisition Services.

Giorgio TarabusiSources claim that Tarabusi and his crews have built one of the largest title transfer timeshare companies in the Yucatan peninsula, where they have reps doing follow-up calls from fancy offices on Bonampak Avenue (and lots of others in less fancy offices nearby).

Here’s the basics of how they are working their primary scam, according to my sources. Timeshare owners pay them to ‘cancel’ their timeshare interests by transferring the titles out of their names OR the developers’ sales reps do a phony table buyback, supposedly giving a timeshare owner a discount on a new timeshare by helping them get rid of their old one via Equity Acquisition Services; the scammers hold on to the titles (hundreds of them at any given time) for a period of no more than 90 to 120 days then call the original owners back to resell their own timeshares back to them again. The story they use is that the owners can regain equity and use it towards the purchase of a new timeshare condo in Mexico with Grupo Vidanta, falsely selling it as Fractional Ownership and making the clients believe they will double dip by buying it back from Equity Acquisition Services.

So basically, timeshare owners are talked into paying the scammers upfront fees for transfers and to then pay the same scammers thousands of dollars to repurchase what they already owned. (This is nearly identical to the charges against several US-based transfer companies and their owners in a lawsuit filed by Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Tennessee. It’s called a reverse sale process.)

How successful are they? Word is that every day they get thousands of dollars wired to their accounts. Says one source:

[They receive] anywhere from $10k, $20k, $30k and in very few cases $40 thousand dollars wired from a single client who is trying to get back the two Christmas weeks they bought in Hawaii from some other legitimate timeshare company like Starwood or Marriott; at this point of course they will send them 40k to recuperate a $70,000 purchase!

It’s all a well thought out and calculated fraud that they play along with Grupo VIDANTA headed up by a school of sharks — Valentino (originally from Bulgaria) and Doug Sanders,(originally from Vancouver BC, Canada), both have articulated this tremendous Empire and fortune, all based on lie after lie, with the primary support from all these fraudulent Equity rentals and timeshare equity transfers, and so on.

Equity Acquisition Services reportedly is just one of several competing operations in Cancun. Another is Timeshare Equity Services, operated by a French Canadian named Yannick Goulet on LinkedInYannick Goulet who splits his time between Mexico and Canada.

Yannick worked in Cancun all thru the 90’s at Krystal Vacation Club, after which he left to work with the notorious Michael Kelly (who ran a half-billion dollar Ponzi scheme until the FBI finally nabbed him and threw him in prison). Anyhow, Yannick apparently learned his craft well while working with Kelly’s Avalon Resorts; some people say he is a major major crook, perhaps the smartest in the region, and you’ll find his name mentioned negatively at online sources such as Tripadvisor; the company’s Canadian office in Montreal appears to be run by founder/owner Donald Antoine Tolis.

A 2013 press release issued by the company says:

Timeshare Equity Services, a company established in 2010, with offices based in Cancun, Mexico and Quebec, Canada, has recently announced its plan to widen the scope of its outstanding back end settlement services to more resort developers in the vacation ownership industry. The mission of the said company is to give resort developers a chance to focus their attention and energy on their business and raise customer satisfaction.

As of now, Timeshare Equity Services works with the largest resort developers in the industry and covers different properties from around the globe. It also caters to individual sellers and buyers who are planning to transfer their ownership. Thus, it is confident to meet even the highest demand of any client.

Yeah, right. This is the same kind of crap that FINALLY got Keith Kosco arrested.

I’m working on confirming the names of other operators “headquartered” in the area, too, and I’m hot on the trail so stay tuned… bandido

More information on what steps you can take if you’ve been scammed, as well as how to recognize a scam, follows below the squiggle.

squiggly

►►► CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE ALL OF THE POSTS IN THIS BLOG ABOUT MEXICO’S TIMESHARE RESALE/ESCROW/BANK WIRE SCAMS!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE IN DETAIL HOW THE TELEMARKETING BOILER ROOMS IN THE PUERTO VALLARTA AREA OPERATE PLUS THE REAL NAMES OF SOME OF THE SCAMMERS!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO LEARN HOW TO RECOGNIZE IF YOU’VE BEEN TARGETED IN A RECOVERY/REFUND SCAM ◄◄◄

►►► Keep in mind that operating a scam from within a foreign country does not make anyone safe from the long arm of the law in the USA or elsewhere. For example:

A 21-year-old Florida woman who said she dropped out of school in ninth grade admitted Monday that she defrauded about $800,000 from unsuspecting investors.

Using the stolen identity of a Credit Suisse bank official, a UPS mail drop in Fort Lauderdale and her experience as a timeshare saleswoman, Amy Brook Wilkerson admitted running the scam while living overseas in Turkey and Georgia.
See the rest at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/crime/fl-fraud-broward-credit-suisse-20150112-story.html

But to reach that point authorities must have serious documentation that some kind of crime has indeed been committed. So take whatever evidence you may have, make your case to the proper authorities and make sure you explain that others across the country (and internationally) are doing this, too, that the scheme affects many people from all over to the tune of millions of dollars. ◄◄◄

What you need to do if you are a victim of a scam is contact the authorities:

  • Your local police; There’s little they can do, but it does provide an official record
  • your state attorney general’s office; Make sure to mention it is an international, multi-state scam so they can coordinate with other attorneys general
  • the FBI via IC3 (a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The IC3 not only collects complaints but also analyzes them, links similar complaints, and discerns patterns in order to help law enforcement identify the scammers);
  • the US  Marshals Service;
  • Interpol – United States Central Bureau; Interpol’s databases help law enforcement see the big picture of international crime. While other agencies have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation’s borders. Interpol can track criminals and crime trends around the world. They maintain collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Their lost and stolen travel document database alone contains more than 12 million records. They also analyze all these data and release information on crime trends to the member countries.
  • the Department of Justice – Office of International Affairs; and anyone else you can think of.

It isn’t likely to help you get any of your funds back, but eventually it might help obtain some sort of justice in shutting them down/getting some of them arrested. Keep in mind that many of the scammers are US Citizens, Canadians and Brits; they can all be prosecuted (including Mexicans) if enough evidence is collected by authorities and if they can then be located and arrested.

And if you still think that maybe your case is different and might be for reals, send me the details BEFORE you wire any funds to Mexico (or anywhere else) and I’ll check it out for you. Email gatekeeper@insidethegate.com



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/01/mexico-timeshare-fraud-january-24-2015/

19 comments

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  1. Lori M.

    The outfit you’re referring to is actually running out of an upstairs room ACROSS from Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe. They have guys all up and down 5th Avenue.




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  2. Lone Star

    Listen I’m grammatically challenged myself but whomever is writing for the Customer Svc Team, get a gringo to proof it before you hit send. Really you’re sounding like an Avenida Quinta OPC.

    Not that it will make a difference you will still be a POS scammer.




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  3. got scammed!

    The credit card companies cannot do anything and Lawyers are too expensive so it’s not worth fighting to get the money back. We have to chalk it up as a very expensive lesson learned and move on with our lives. It’s unfortunate that these scumbags who deserve to rot in hell are still out there taking advantage of us. It seemed real at the time but when it is too good to be true it always is. It doesn’t matter what they put in writing as everything is fraudulent anyways. I remember one thing aaron said “if you knew how much money we are making off of you, it would make you sick”. Well guess what.. I am disgusted




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    1. got scammed on February 16, 2015

      I entered into a contract with this business on Monday February 16, 2015 in Playa del Carmen in the rear of Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe on Main Street and 5th Avenue. I was unable to research the business and affiliates while in Mexico.

      The contract was for the purchase of a Luxury Holiday International VIP Travel Benefits program, consisting of 100 weeks of travel for the price of $6,486.00. In return, they would sell my timeshare in Florida through Sotheby’s Auction (what they told me), however, it was Sotheby’s Vacation Sales in Wilmington, Delaware for the sum of $24,000.00. The money would be placed in escrow with them receiving the lion share and me receiving $6,535.00 which would be placed into escrow.

      I returned from Mexico to the United States on Sunday February 22, 2015. Upon returning home, I conducted research into the business.

      I have found numerous written documentation from various people that the contract we entered into and signed is based on a scam and fraud. In fact, it is listed as a timeshare disposal transfer scam.

      I was advised during the presentation that Sotheby’s Vacation Sales was affiliated with Sotheby’s International Reality and Auction. Hearing this information, I felt that the deal was reputable. This is not the case. In fact, Sotheby’s International Reality has the following warning message on their site which can be accessed at http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/fraud-alert

      They charged my Master Card in the amount of $6,486.00 in USD or $96,381.96 pesos.

      They emailed me yesterday and this morning from Sotheby’s Vacation Sales.
      Here are a copy of their 2 emails.

      We would like to clarify all misunderstandings.
      >
      >
      > Our business is not affiliated with Sotheby’s Realty. We are and
      > independent company working on the timeshare business. We are already
      > with legal actions against them because they are providing false
      > accusations against us. They are doing this because they believe nobody
      > else can use the name and are trying to affect us.
      >
      > In addition, according to legal terms on the contract we are still on
      > time to complete the transaction.
      >
      > Best regards,
      > Customer Service Team
      >
      >
      >
      >

      Dear Richard and Theresa,

      Your account is no longer in process due to your legal actions against our
      business.

      Best regards,

      Customer Service Team

      I am going to file a police report with my local police agency. I also have numerous contacts in the FBI that I will meet with. So hang in there everybody, justice will be coming.




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      1. Taken in Mexico

        We have been victimized as well. Just today,would you please keep us posted on your findings. We will do the same.




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  4. Sotheby's Scam

    I too was scammed by someone claiming to send 999.00 to emitchell@sothebysvacationsales.com for a closing cost.




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  5. got scammed!

    They also required a $5000 start up fee and $999 to sotheby’s so they got us for 6k. .. they stay active for about 4 months and then move on




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  6. got scammed!

    They promise to buy your timeshare for an inflated price and offer weeks extra and you can sell 2 weeks a year for $5000 USD. also they give you 200 weeks through sotheby’s vacation sales which is another company scam. They have phone numbers in Delaware that are active and they really luxury holiday international is has a fake address our of Columbia Maryland




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    1. Lone Star

      This operation sounds like a boiler room. I’m guessing they use the equity exchangers to just transfer the traded in timeshares out of the name of the victim. The boiler room perps are the real scumbags in this story.




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  7. got scammed!

    Luxury holiday international is the name of the company and yes ah cacao chocolate cafe. Aaron Jones is the main guy and Chris is the sales rep. Also they have a British lady at the beginning




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  8. got scammed!

    They are out of the au cacao shop^




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    1. gatekeeper

      Are you talking about the Ah Cacao Chocolate Cafe? What is the name of the company selling the scam? Timeshare Equity Services? Equity Acquisition Services? Or something else?




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  9. got scammed!

    They are part of the author cacao shop in a room back there on the corner of the main Avenue that runs through Playa del Carmen and 5th Avenue. There is a small hotel there and an office in the back




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  10. got scammed!

    The are running the scam out of Playa del Carmen right now. Unfortunately we are working on getting our money back via visa as we speak. Exactly what has been explained has happened to us. There are running by the names of Aaron Jones and Chris right now. I hope you can catch these bastards and get them behind bars




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  11. Lone Star

    If Kosco has anything of value for the Feds, you can bet he will sing like a bird if it can reduce what looks to be a long bit.




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  12. Tunnel Ratt

    I just happen to have the missing link…no pun intended. FYI Kosco is still doing business behind the iron curtin of his condo in Williamsberg, VA. I will email the gatekeeper the specifics and the lid will finally be blown sky high..the Koscoroach will once and for all be ground down to a the pile of sh#! he is. and BTW…..there is a court order that the roachman is not to contact former employees and/or clients…..not that he has complied with that order. STAND BY FOR LIFT OFF!!!




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  13. JW

    Its a “tool” that’s been around for awhile. I think your source is way high on the amounts they get for the reverse sale. It’s somewhere around $1,800 average, but the mechanics were right on.




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  14. Sunny

    What resorts are using this company ?




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    1. Lone Star

      EAS is at The Mayan in Playa. Not sure about the other but I’ve heard he’s got a bunch of resorts.




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