Frauds Continue in San Felipe

Earlier this year, Fulano wrote a three-part blog on the massive real estate frauds in San Felipe. Those blogs can be read here, here, and here.

Zeta, the Tijuana magazine, did a follow-up story on the San Felipe real estate frauds. Fulano has translated some if it below:

Corrupción en gobierno, Promotores sin ética
 [Government corruption, Unethical promoters]

That sums up the source of the problem of hundreds of Americans who bought lots, houses, and condominiums in San Felipe, Baja California, and the developers took their money and not delivered the property. Of the 54 developments in the area, only 39 have complied with all government requirements to legally sell the properties, but the Mexican government does not stop the rest from selling even though they are aware of the allegations of fraud. The defrauded foreigners have hired lobbyists in Washington, DC to represent them via media campaigns, talks with Congressmen and U.S. authorities to pressure the Mexican government to solve their problems.

Anne and her husband arrived from North Carolina, came to know San Felipe and chose it as the place they wanted to live. First they bought a property and then sold it six years ago and bought a lot in Playa del Rancho Caracol, part of El Dorado Ranch, through a Promise of Sale Agreement and paid $112,500, and were promised infrastructure, all legal permits and a clubhouse. Today they only have a piece of sand.

Welcome to San Felipe

The American has hired several lawyers to pursue their case, her husband died during the litigation. The lawsuits have not gotten her money back nor have they delivered the house they dreamed of.

According to the head of Urban Management of the City of Mexicali, of the 98 developments operating irregularly in San Felipe, 54 have since been regularized and 39 are in the process of doing so “under a program scheduled to be completed in 6 months”, although there are still five developments that are not in the process of being regularized.

According to one of the organizers of the Baja Property Owners Cooperative, there are dozens of cases of foreigners who have been defrauded, and due to what they consider a lack of response from the Mexican authorities, have warned that they will take it to the next level, not in Mexico but in the United States, where they will lobby Congress to demand the necessary support at the federal level in both countries.

One of them, who insisted on anonymity for fear of retaliation, stated his point of view of the problem:

“The combination of government corruption and a community of unethical developers has created a continuous environment that makes buying land in San Felipe a more dangerous situation for foreigners than the drug cartel violence…” .


Easter Report From San Felipe

From today’s Crisol de San Felipe, a report on Easter [Fulano’s translation.]

The Easter Operation Failed

The security operation by municipal police failed, despite the heavy police presence used for surveillance, which amounted to more that 200, including anti-riot police, because there were tumultuous fights and they did not prevent access to glass bottles in the Malecon.

One of the largest fights included at least 30 people who were hitting with everything they had at hand. The police, rather than deter this with foot patrols, kept in large numbers at the entrances to the Malecon and waited until the fights broke out to take action.

In addition of the consumption of alcohol at the Malecon, they were also drinking on the entire first block of town, and the excessive consumption led to fevered fights.

They also allowed vehicle driver to drink alcoholic beverages, which produced several accidents, among them one on avenida Mar Caribe, which had it not been for a telephone pole a car would have crashed into a home. A similar occurrence happened at the traffic circle at the arches, went a vehicle overturned in broad daylight.

In general terms, the police did not stop anti-social behavior and Easter week was a mess.

In another report in Frontera, restaurant operators in San Felipe reported a drop of 40% in sales compared to Easter of 2010.


From Another Mexico Message Board

Fulano often reposts messages from other English language Mexico or travel message boards so readers can get a more balanced view of what really goes on in Mexico. There is an ever larger — and untapped — population of messages about Mexico on the Spanish language message boards and blogs. These are messages and comments posted by Mexicans, for the most part. Here is a message posted on Monday, April 18, 2011 in the local San Felipe internet website El Crisol De San Felipe. The message is a response to a video editorial by the publisher about the violence and anti-social behavior on the malecón of San Felipe and the lack of a police presence.  First the original message in Spanish, and following that is Fulano’s translation.

juan says:
18 April, 2011 at 1:51 PM
En verdad mis respetos para usted señor Martin Pero se quedo corto en sucomentario y esto para que lo sepa el Sr. Delegado usted nada mas se esta refiriendo al área del malecón y al turista pero en verdad nosotros los del pueblo ya no aguantamos a los rateros ya son tres ocasiones que se meten a mi casa y dos a mi negocio y ninguna policía hace nada, ahora tanto departamentos que hay de gobierno y ninguno sacamos una solución; pero que tal los sueldos de ellos no les falla, y el pueblo reprimido, en verdad ya es hora de exigir y pedir , se me pasaba como a usted ya se perdió la vida de una persona en las dunas el sábado cuantas se esperan en semana santa y la prevención BIEN GRACIAS., GRACIAS SR. DELEGADO Siga así espero que le alcancen los dedos de la mano para que cuente a los muertos ahora este fin de semana y los traiga en su conciencia.

juan says:
April 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM
Indeed my respects for you Sr. Martin but you came up short in your commentary, and this comment is so that our municipal delegate knows you are only referring to the malecón and the tourist area when the truth is we townfolk can not stand the thieves. There have been three occasions that they entered my house and two at my business and not one police officer has done anything. Now we have so many government departments and none of them can come up with a solution, but they sure get their salaries while the people are repressed. Indeed it is now time to ask and demand. I see it as you do. Someone died in the dunes last Saturday. We hope for so many people to come during Easter week, along with police protection. WELL THANK YOU. THANK YOU SR. DELEGATE. Keep it up. I hope you have enough fingers on your hand to count the dead this weekend and it registers in your consciousness.

[Fulano’s note: The person who “died in the dunes” refers to an accident that occurred late Saturday night when a ministerial police officer of the Baja State Attorney General’s office was racing his dune buggy in the dunes at El Límon. The driver, Alberto Varela Rodríguez, 40 years old, was reported to be drunk when he rolled the buggy, killing his passenger, Alejandro López Curiel, 22 years old. Link to accident article in Spanish.]


$16 Million Condo Project Announced for San Felipe

Thanks to the willingness of the Mexicali City Hall, an investment of about $16 million for condos in San Felipe will be possible, proposed a group of businessmen doing business in the port town.

The Mayor of Mexicali, Francisco Pérez Tejada Padilla, received a group of investors in his office from Organization Ramirez, who expressed an interest in the Mexicali community.

San Felipe has great potential as a tourist port, said Florentino Ramírez of Organization Ramírez de Morelia, Ernesto Ramirez of Guadalajara, and Engineer Porfirio Lugo as a local partner.

They explained that the proposed investment involves the construction of four condominium towers and a residential subdivision with private pool and all amenities.

The first phase of construction will begin in the coming months, on 70 hectares of land on the north side of San Felipe.

Link to article is Spanish..

[Fulano’s comment: Although this project has zero chance of ever happening, I am sure McFez will have an orgasm when he reads about it.]


Executives of San Felipe’s El Dorado Ranch Charged With Fraud

Link to article in Spanish.

Summarized from the article in the local San Felipe internet newspaper Crisoldesanfelipe:

Pat Butler and Jesús Olmos, executives of Rancho El Dorado, along with their lawyer, Cuauhtémoc Sandoval, have been charged with criminal fraud in relation to a legal conflict regarding the property known as Playa Blanca. Apparently there is a court ruling that an Aarón Sañudo and Marcos García are the proper owners of Playa Blanca.

Rancho El Dorado is accused of supposedly purchasing the Playa Blanca property using the legal description and plans of a similar property in Ensenada.

On March 22, 2011, Aarón Sañudo and Marcos García tried to enter their property at Playa Blanca and were stopped by people associated with Pat Butler, and as a result the municipal police were called.

The editor of crisoldesanfelipe also has a video editorial on this whole land mess in San Felipe that is over 12 minutes long. It is titled “Gringo vs. Gringo.” He basically says the lion’s share of the real estate problems in San Felipe are from gringos committing fraud and bribing corrupt politicians. While he does say that corrupt Mexican politicians are also involved, he goes on to say that “gringo-on-gringo” fraud and swindling is the major reason for the poor view people have of San Felipe.


From Another Mexico Message Board

On Tuesday, March 2nd in the evening hours a 77 year old female El Dorado resident was with her husband and many others at a restaurant in downtown San Felipe. The restaurant was having its normal “dollar night” special there and many American and Canadians were there. Because of the crowd the woman and her husband couldn’t park next to the restaurant, but did so around the corner (in a darkened area). 

At some point the woman needed something from her vehicle and went outside alone to go to it. She noticed one of the back tires on the vehicle was flat, and when she approached the car she was attacked by an unknown assailant. He struggled with her for her purse and during the robbery, he injured her shoulder and arm badly. She was treated locally, but had to be driven back to the U.S. for further treatment. I was told that the police and Dr. Abosolo were very helpful to the victim. She will be in our prayers for recovery.

Link to message.


San Felipe Carnival Queen Fraud

It doesn’t take much to make a news item in San Felipe. Here’s what the ladies in this video are saying.

It seems the town decided to select a Carnival Queen for the upcoming Carnival in San Felipe. They didn’t want to put on a contest or anything like that. So, they invited any young woman in San Felipe who wanted to be Carnival Queen to enter the contest, and the queen would be selected by drawing straws.

Sounds fair enough. But on the day of the drawing, the organizers lined up the ladies in order, and then had them draw the straws (actually flowers). But, the fix was in. What these women are complaining about in the video is that they could not select which flower they wanted, they had to select the next flower in line. Get it? The ladies were lined up in a certain order by the organizers and the flowers that would determine the winners (a Queen and her ladies in waiting) were also lined up.

That is what these women are complaining about in this video.


The Wanted and the Unwanted – Another Story

News item:

On June 9, 2006, the Justice Department obtained a permanent injunction against Hal J. Clark, of San Felipe, Baja California. Clark has been permanently barred from acting as a federal income tax return preparer. The court also entered injunctions in the same case against Jack R. Gosney and Charles T. Kizer.

The government complaint in the suit alleged that the three defendants—operating under the names JRG Financial Group or JRG Associates in Riverside—prepared returns for customers claiming improper deductions for personal expenses and grossly inflated business expense deductions. The complaint asserted that the defendants created fictitious partnerships and sole proprietorships in order to improperly reduce customers’ reported tax liabilities. The government suit alleged that the three men prepared over 8,000 federal tax returns in the past five years for individuals or partnerships. According to the complaint, an IRS audit of 120 returns signed by Clark, Gosney or Kizner revealed that the three preparers understated their customers’ tax liabilities by an average of $16,000 per return.

Under the terms of the permanent injunction, Clark must notify his customers of the injunction and give the Justice Department the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of his recent customers.

Link to injunction against Hal J. Clark

So, let’s see now. 8,000 false federal income tax returns with an average tax liability understatement of $16,000. That could amount to $128 million of unpaid taxes. What the IRS is going to do with the names and social security numbers of these yahoo’s tax clients is go back and assess them for the unpaid taxes, plus interest and plus penalties. That could easily double the amount due to the government.

Hal J. Clark

I’ll bet you’re wondering what Fulano is up to with all this information. As Fulano has said many times here, Mexico is just not what it seems to be.  Hal J. Clark lives full time in San Felipe, Baja California. He is the past president of the San Felipe Lions Club. Hal is very involved with a monthly color magazine targeted at Gringos which encourages them to move to Mexico and buy Mexican real estate. The magazine is Mexico Living and has several affiliated websites. Hal posts articles as a contributing editor under the name “BajaPaco.” Clark is active in promoting San Felipe specifically and Mexico in general.

Clark is the event administrator for the Mexico Living Home Show, for resort living in Northwest Mexico, a promotional event produced by the Mexico Living people.

If Hal J. Clark was a Mexican, and not an American citizen, with his record he would not even qualify for a tourist visa to come to the US. People who immigrate to the US the legal way, have to demonstrate their good moral character.  Mexico, for some reason, does not seem to care too much about what foreigners it lets live in the country.


Women Murdered in San Felipe

An article in Crisol De San Felipe  reports an apparent murder of an American women in her 60’s who was killed by two bullets to the head. According to the report, the women lived at the Quinta Las Rosas tourist campo and was discovered by her neighbors after they had not seen her for six days and noticed a strong odor from her home.

Police were called and found the women lying face down on a bed in a bedroom. Neighbors reported that the woman’s husband has not been seen for three days and is presumed to have returned to the US. Police have refused to release the name of the victim or her husband because the case is under investigation, citing the new rules for the oral trial system that has been recently implemented.