Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud

Real Estate fraud is becoming a major problem in Costa Rica

Real Estate fraud is becoming a major problem in Costa Rica

Yesterday I had a meeting with an account who was involved in a huge development project on the Pacific Coast of  Costa Rica. Anyway, to make a long story short, he asked me if I knew the guy who he had meant in Costa Rica. I shook my head, and my account proceeds to go to this guy’s website. The website was professionally done, looked legit etc etc.

Then my account took me to a another website where it showed this guy had twice been indicted on fraudulently securities  in the US, and he was NOW selling real estate investment securities on his Costa Rica website.

When my account asked me if there was anything I could do about it? I responded, "Not Really!"

It is well-known that Costa Rica has attracted an increasing numbers of investors and people who want to retire and/or buy a vacation home/condo over the last few years. However, this has also sparked the increase in real estate and investment scams. It is said, that as many as 30% of all real estate deals may have some type of fraudulent dealings with them.

Most who do get scammed end up leaving with a very bad taste of Costa Rica. Or they think US legal system, hire an attorney, thinking of civil lawsuit and, get their money back. The next thing they know, its  two years and thousands of dollars later and are in the same boat they started with.

Before one thinks about investing and/or buying one must realize two critical fundamentals of buying real estate in Costa Rica:

  1. Costa Rica Law is a complexity of the Rican legal system, which is based on Napoleonic law. In other words, unless blood is drawn, “No (physical) Harm, No Foul. ” So fleecing someone out of money is not that big of a deal as it would be with someone who empties a 9mm clip into some poor soul. So if you get burned, do not expect an army of DAs and Law Enforcement to arrest the person. Going through the courts in a civil matter cost time and money.
  2. There are NO governing laws for real estate agents as the US has, where one has to take a test to become a realtor, agent or broker.  In Costa Rica, anyone can become one and you do not have to be a resident or citizen. No permits, schooling or business license required. And because of this, agents are a dime a dozen and all they need is property, regardless of who owns it.

Getting back – you fell in love with the country, found the perfect spot to build or buy your dream home, now,  how can I protect myself?  Well believe it or not, there are some simple steps.

Property Itself:  Make sure the property does not look abandoned or not taken care of. These properties would be "attractive" for fraud as the owners are not checking their property situation.

Just about anyone can get residency in Costa Rica. All it takes is lots of time and money

Residency Citizenship Cards can help give creditability to the person you are dealing with.

Residency Card: You found an agent who looks to be not a Costa Rican and want to put a proposal on that dream home, asked the agent for their residency and/or citizenship card. Both will tell you how long the person has been living in Costa Rica. You may even ask for their Passport. If they have no card that means every 90 days they have to leave the country and then come back in after 72 hours. A Residency Card will pretty much tell you that person is here to stay in CR. The longer the residency, the more creditably that person has. If the person balks at showing his or her card, time to walk out the door.

Internet Search:  Go to Google and type in the persons and business name; see if any claims have come up on them.

Get a Real Estate Attorney: Costa Rica has some great attorneys that understand the system.  The US Embassy in San Jose has a list of  bilingual attorneys and you can go to our Costa Rica attorney directory.  A good attorney will do the due diligence to make sure the property has a clean title with no liens attached. A property with a very long clean history means they have belonging to the same person for decades. Properties were the titles have changed many times in the last few years are ones that raise red flags.

Use  Caution:  If the property is located in zones with high appreciation values be careful. Real estate in high dollars areas like in the Central Valley areas of Escazú and Santa Ana,  to North Pacific coastal areas (Guanacaste like Tamarindo) and to Mid Pacific Coast, like Jaco are the perfect places for a conman to hype their victim on,  how much money they can make on this "awesome" condo project that will start construction two years from now.

When all said and done, if you take your time, don't rush things, do your homework, you will be able to have your dream home and/or make money on your real estate investment.

For more info see:  Investing in Costa Rica, Costa Rica Squatters, Buying Property in Costa Rica

EDITORS  NOTE: The below "ongoing" comments that started in April, 2010, are mostly associated with the controversy of Hacienda Matapalo development project, which is located near Matapalo Beach between Puerto Quepos and Dominical.

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Comments

  1. I feel bad for all those who invested in a number of failed projects in Costa Rica including Paragon Properties, Wellington Properties, Hacienda Matapalo and even projects that were backed by firms like the Sonesta (the failed white high rise on the coastal highway in Jaco) and many others.  We continue to sell high end custom homes in fully improved gated developments in southern Pacific Costa Rica.  Now in our 26th year in business, Pacific Lots of Costa Rica continues to run 4 day property tours, we don't want a deposit on a lot, we only ask for $299 per person to offset the cost of our tour.  We provide 4 days and 3 nights lodging, airport pickup and drop off, all meals except on the day of arrival since we put you in a hotel that day (that we pay for) adult beverages, all transportation within Costa Rica and all tours.  We have NO SALES PRESENTATION, and continue to offer phase after phase complete with all envirnmental permits, AYA permits, all property titled in the national registry, no time limit to build but we will build your home for you starting at $100 per sqaure foot for custom construction.  We've built hundreds of homes in our projects, having completed a total of 17 seperate phases in the past 26 years.  So if you want to work with a reputable developer, get a chance to see the quality and product before you buy, meet other owners, experience the area yourself and all for just $299 per person (again for 4 days all inclusive) contact us at www. Pacific Lots dot com.  We have the blessing of a ton of major firms that have done countless hours of due diligence on our projects.  See our website for over 10 years of newsletters showing homes, owners, projects and prices. 

  2. DETECTIVE GORDON is heading up the investigation on Hacienda Matapalo.  His phone number is 954-321-4618.    The Sheriffs Department is the lead investigative agency looking into the alledged fraudulent activitys involving the partners of HM, Centam Partners and Peagus Ft. Lauderdale and Peagus Star Limitada.   

  3. Hacienda Matapalo Investors.   The next investigation is Broward Sheriff Department  Contact:  Detective Gordon at   954-321-4618

  4. INVESTORS OF HACIENDA MATAPALO   Investigation underway.  Contact:  Detective Kirtman, Ft. Lauderdale Police Department.  954-828- 6070  direct line.  Reference Case number:  13-054278      

  5. Juan Eduardo says:

    Many developers purchase farms in Costa Rica, call them developments, divide the farm into lots, sell them to "not so intelligent" Gringos, and then often skip the country.  These scammers will never give you contact information for another person who purchased a lot in that farm, and it is very rare that title and deeds are ever given to the purchaser.  Some of these developers even charge HOA fees before they are licensed to do so.  Never buy a building lot unless there are deeds with government stamps on them, that both water and electicity as on the site, and that the development is already gated with a guard in place.  Also make sure that at least one home is constructed in the development, and that it's not owned by the developer.  Taking a developer to court in Costa Rica can take up to seven years before your case comes before a judge, and then another three years before it's finished.  Realtors and developers also hide the true situations in Costa Rica, such as the astronomical cost of electricy, groceries, cars, and the outrageously high import taxes on everything you buy.  There are honest realtors and developers out there, but there are very few.

    • Juan, thank you.  You are so right.  There is an investigation going on.  FBI and Local.            You must contact the Police in Fort Lauderdale and report you are a victim of a crime.   There number is 954-828-5700    the case number for original reference is:13-054278      They may assign you your own  case number however the number referenced is the begining of the investigation. 

  6. amelia lewis says:

    We lost 180,000 to HM.  We were the last to know when the whole thing collapsed.  We believed Michael STarkey and thought he was honest.  The project is totally gone now and our money is gone now and we are left much poorer and our retirement dreams are gone.  No one will ever be able to fix this.

    • Abe Jacob says:

      Hi There,

      I read your piece, I have a deposit on H.M. Condo,  what you say is not right ( I Hope ) as there is a new Co. ( indeca.info ) now and they got a lone from New Jersy Utacapital.com, the project name is the same, they concenrate on building/infrastructure now – no sales!

      Talk to Nathan Posey  954 682 6485 or E mail: Nathan@costaricaforme.com

      Please let me know what you found out?

      Abe Jacob  905 628 4376  S_Jacob@sympatico.ca

      Hamilton Ontario

      Canada 

      • admin says:

        Hell Abe, if you are seeking info on whether or not a project is legit or not, for a reasonable fee Doug at http://willspy.com/ can help you out.

      • You can't believe Nathan Posey.  He is a liar as well.   Call the lawfirm that was suggested and join with the other investors that have been pursuing this.
        These crooks are going to walk away with all the money and not even a slap on the wrist.  I think Matluck crawled up his own ass and is hiding there.

  7. Here's another piece on the subject…
     
    http://newsblaze.com/story/20120713173958donh.nb/topstory.html

  8. I think its safe to say that myself and the admin of this site (Tico Times Directory) both agree that it would be wise of investors to organize themselves rather than pot shots on forums and comment sections of websites. Its not going to get you any closer to your money.
    I hope the admin here is ok (im sure he is) that I'm posting this but….
    AG-Abogados (Gonzalo Gutierrez) is currently review the investor situation with Hacienda Matapalo and currently investigating the legal rights of owners in US and Costa Rica, who bought in to the now defunk property.
    I wrote this article informing investors about this legal firm working on the case and a few of you have heeded this advice – but there are more – many more investors out there who would be well-off contacting this legal firm for advice on what exactly your legal rights are.
    And yes…yes you do have rights.
    Review my post here for more information – http://www.costaricanewssite.com/7536/hacienda-matapalo-and-paragon-properties-look-more-alike-everyday/

    • admin says:

      Please excuse the delay in posting Costa Rica News comments. We were doing some updates. We do agree that investors should organize and contact a CR attorney.

  9. admin says:

    This comment got buried, but it is worth reading since it came from one of the owners of HM

    http://ticotimes.com/costa-rica/real-estate-fraud/comment-page-5#comment-4992

    • Gabriel says:

      And the reason the egomaniac Matluck, Stoner Albury, Starkey the Storyteller and bottom Feeder Sklar did not realize this before doling out your money to the Intermall villains of the piece is?
      Oh yeah, because they are a bunch of of bubble market realtors who made their money falling out of bed and thought they could be developers.  MAN UP MATLUCK!  Admit the truth.  You treated an international development community with the skills with house flipper and when it finally blew up in your face now you blame the people that YOU did not vet out.   You are a bumbling coward in extreme denial.
      So tell us where would HM be if not for the Intermall debacle?  You would still have no power to the property.  You would still have nothing built.  Nothing closed.  Nothing but excuses and flowery newsletters and renderings.  The money just would have taken a little longer to run out.   The list of the lies you peddled in your pitch is prolific.  Take off your self anointed halo and admit to what you are.  A fool.

  10. City of Ocala scammed for $2.5m http://www.ocala.com/article/20100226/articles/2261005  

    • That has nothing to do with what went on at Hacienda Matapalo

      • It may not have anything to do directly with Hacienda Matapalo per se, but it has EVERYTHING to do with the people who are making the allegations. These people have no credability whatsoever. Like the old saying, consider the source. Both Jorge and Fred are conmen and they just got their hand caught in the cookie jar. All one has to do is go to the state of florida business web site and search their names and they will see a laundry list of companies that they have taken to bankruptcy and judgments against them totaling nearly $40 million.

  11. You Tube account is now closed !!!  

  12. Has anyone been to the HM web site?  Check it out … Massive changes …

  13. Website says:

    There have been MANY changes to the http://www.haciendamatapalo.com web site.  Go check out the vanishing content.  Does not look good !!!

  14. DocYoung says:

    The more I study this blog, the more i think the current version of Hacienda Matapalo might be a risky endeavor.  Has anyone had their deposits refunded?

  15. Mikkos says:

    How could they make the alleged victims whole?  Where would the money come from?  There is a school of thought that there are no victims.  The people who sent in money took a chance and the chance came up snake eyes.  Where is it written that when you buy pre-development property, there is a 100% absolute certainty that anything will actually get developed?  It's a gamble … The people seem to have lost.  Sorry folks, move along, nothing to see here aside from a bunch of cry babies.

  16. DocYoung says:

    Are they still selling/reserving condo units?  I was looking at the web site and one of those 3rd story view Penthouse units would be very nice if it could be bought at a sharp discount?   How much construction has actually taken place at HM?

  17. Duncan says:

    How about the stupid people that handed money over for a piece of land in the middle of a cow pasture in Costa Rica?  Why doesn't anyone point the finger back at themselves?  As a dream Hacienda Matapalo was great, but to actually hand them money.  Please save the crocodile tears for someone else.

  18. All wrong-doers want to put int behind them, forget about it, sweep it under the rug, move forward, be more positive, quit the complaining… What they never want to do is: admit their part in the wrongdoing, and most importantly make their victims whole.

  19. DonJonas says:

    It's amazing to me that they come up here and taunt the buyers.  I considered buying into the HM dream, but a little birdie in the back of my head told me not to.  Smart move.

  20. I am an owner at HM and have sat back and watched all these comments. This morning I opened my email only to get this letter from Dave Matlcuk. I think you will find it fascinating. Enjoy!
     
    To: Hacienda Matapalo Community
     
    From:David Matluck, CEO Pegsus Star Ltd.
     
    It has been some time since I communicated directly with the community as a whole. It has been necessary because of certain legal issues arising from our dealings with Intermall 777. There is much that has been going on behind the scenes and much of it involves legal issues that have dominated the options available to myself and my partners. Now it is time to inform all of you as to exactly what has transpired and explain the present situation as fully as I am able to at this time.
     
    As you know, Intermall777 did not close on the loan to HM as per their commitment letter. They have since been in contact with many if not all of the members of our community "explaining" the reason(s) why they did not close. Fred Bernstein/Intermall777 collectively received over $200,000 from our company for commitment fees to their bank and legal fees to their lawyers to effect the closing. Nose of this money was received by either the bank or any law firm for the intended purpose. Instead, these two shameless assholes have invented reasons as to why they did not close this loan and have "conned" a few of the members of our community into believing their b.s. They have shamelessly accused myself and my partners of actions which are purely fabricated to provide a 'cover' for their illegal and dishonest dealings. I am not only unconcerned about any legal action stemming from them in response to this letter, but I invite it!! You just never have enough good bathroom reading !!!
     
    Because of the actions of these two scoundrels we were left in a very weakened position financially both personally and as a company. As a condition of closing the loan with Intermall we altered our business plan and ceased seeking any new sales since this past fall (thereby cutting off any source of operating funds) and instead adopted their plan to build and close on only what was already sold (for the time being) while closing on home sites that were also already sold. (Thereafter the plan included building several models and then renewing a marketing and sales effort directed at new sales).
    Because of legally binding documents signed by the parties, communication and cooperation between our company and our lender, UTA Capital, were interrupted and adversely affected, leading in part to our present situation. UTA Capital understood very well the dishonest dealings of Intermall. They not only did not have their loan repaid as per their agreement with us, but interest and additional expenses began to accrue as well. UTA Capital has been left with the question as to how best to preserve the security of their loan which was used to build the Phase 1 infrastructure. According to the terms of the loan they could foreclose on the property for unpaid interest and other expenses, however, this is a complex matter in Costa Rica and their objective has never been to own the property but rather to have their loan repaid at a profit. UTA Capital is not a developer, they are a lender.
    Let me be perfectly clear about one thing. UTA Capital has acted honestly and reasonably in any and all dealings with myself and my partners. They are gentlemen. Any negative comments about them are further b.s. from the previously mentioned scoundrels. We owe UTA a lot of money. That is a fact. We have been acting cooperatively with UTA Capital since shedding ourselves of Intermall. UTA Capital is a victim of their dishonest actions just as we are and just as you are. These scoundrels are clever. If you believe their 'tale' then you can see how we were taken in by their 'confidence game'. I liken this to the crack addict who steals your wallet to buy crack and immediately appoints himself the head of a committee to help you find it.
    We understand that UTA Capital has been in constant contact with several potential lenders or JV partners and it is our understanding that they may continue to do so until a solution is reached that is acceptable to them. However, I should be clear that they are not committed or obligated to do so, and that they have not authorized nor approved this letter or any other communication regarding their intentions or future plans.
    A good part of our silence as of late has been that we have chosen to not respond to many senseless rumors, lies, and accusations that have been circulating. A few clients have been completely sold on the b.s emanating from these scoundrels and have tried to engage an investigative reporter to do a story telling what is essentially the 'Intermall tale'. I have read a few comments from them that are not only factually incorrect but are in fact the opposite of the factual reality. I guess that in an atmosphere of frustration and anger a 'mob mentality' can take over as they start telling 'their story'. Exaggeration, imagination, and even a bit of 'bravado' can take over and pretty soon you start to get the kind of nonsense that I have been hearing and reading. You know who you are and there is no reason for me to embarrass you with the facts. I have even recently been sent blogs with comments presented as coming from myself and my partners with statements so bizarre that they actually support elements of the 'Intermall tale'!! Shameless! Creative! Pathetic! They must think that you are all stupid that you would not see right through this b.s. Our lack of response seems to have emboldened them to say anything they dream up without any fear of any response from us. Well scoundrels, that snide smile on your face will soon be upside down………………promise!!!!!!!!!
    As to the investigative reporter who has been approached by a few clients and led by the nose by Jorge Gutman I suggest that your real story is these two scoundrels and their history of bankruptcies, law suits, judgments, etc. The facts are there if you choose to investigate the scoundrels instead of the victims but it is really a sad and pathetic story. Hannah Arendt won a Pulitzer for pointing out that "In the end, most all evil is banal".
    The numbers that I have seen bandied about seem to grow like Pinocchio's nose. They are exaggerated, distorted, etc. All monies from clients of HM have been used to further this project and are accounted for. I will demonstrate how absurd these comments are with just the following fact:
    The cost of the land with improvements, interest on loans for the land purchase, upkeep, etc are more than $7M which was paid in full before adding the infrastructure financed by UTA Capital. Its value as a simple farm with entitlements exceeds this number by millions and is dwarfed by its value as a development.
    The cost of engineering, permits, soil tests, wells drilled, land clearing, maintenance, roadwork, and upkeep in general to ready the property for construction is itself a significant amount.
    The cost of marketing and sales (incl. commissions) to achieve over $60M in sales and create the BRAND of Hacienda Matapalo is by industry standards a significant amount, perhaps 8-10% or even more. Fill in any number you want.
    The cost of legal and accounting services for the past 4-5 years…. The cost of an administrative staff…. The cost of a staff in Costa Rica to meet and tour and entertain our clients…. The cost of borrowing money when necessary to keep moving forward at 18% and sometimes higher. The list goes on and is readily available.
    Part of the 'Intermall tale' has been the claim that there was an "extensive audit" done that demonstrated "blah, blah, blah". THERE WAS NO SUCH AUDIT EVER PERFORMED!!!!!! There were a series of accusations by Intermall that pointed its finger at certain "discrepancies". When my partners and I were FINALLY shown this 'audit' in the 'eleventh hour' prior to the scheduled closing of the loan , I took one look at it and immediately knew that they had no idea what they were doing. It was simply bogus and they were not even aware of some of the most basic components of what they were looking at. It did not matter because they were fabricating it anyway for their purposes. Needless to say we were only 'allowed' to view this work briefly on Jorge's computer and he would not give us a copy to review. Smoke & mirrors, imaginary and shameless 'reasons' why they could not close the loan at the last minute and, poor souls, they would have to be content with the $200,000 plus that they had collected from us. Meanwhile, they would like it very much if all eyes are on us instead of on them. I will go so far as to say that not a single accusation from Intermall that has been presented is either accurate or true. My partners and I have done nothing wrong either ethically or legally. You may question our judgment in engaging Intermall but questioning our character is at odds with long professional careers without a single blemish.
     
    Please see the info below provided from the public record illustrating the M O of these scoundrels. I will be sending further updates as more info is available.
     
    Pura Vida
     
    A Rosgues Gallery
     

    Jorge Gutman (aka George)
    http://www.ocala.com/article/20100226/articles/2261005
     

    Bankruptcy Filing
    http://bankrupt.com/misc/flsb08-22022.pdf
    Judgments in Florida-includes $1,620,438 to City of Ocala)
     

    Florida Entities owned by Gutman
    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/corofflis.exe?action=OFFBWD&action_dir=B&princ_comp_name=GUTMANJOSE&names_cor_number=L99000007556&princ_type=R&cor_web_princ_seq=0000
     

    Frederik M. Bernstein (aka Fred Bernstein)
    Judgments in Florida
     
    You have to search under Bernstein at http://www.sunbiz.org
     
    Florida Entities owned by Bernstein (3 pages) Jorge Gutman Age : 46 Years Old Sex : M Birth Date : 4-18-1963 Race : W
    Bankruptcy Filing
     
    http://bankrupt.com/misc/flsb08-22022.pdf
    Judgments in Florida-includes $1,620,438 to City of Ocala)
     
    Florida Entities owned by Gutman
    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/corofflis.exe?action=OFFBWD&action_dir=B&princ_comp_name=GUTMANJOSE&names_cor_number=L99000007556&princ_type=R&cor_web_princ_seq=0000
     
     
    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/corofflis.exe?action=OFFBWD&action_dir=B&princ_comp_name=BERNSTEINFRED&names_cor_number=N04000002698&princ_type=R&cor_web_princ_seq=0000
     
     
    Stuart Title LLc (owned by Bernstein (Bernstein wanted all new money received to be “SAFE” and go to Stuart Title)
     
    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=L05000111404&inq_came_from=OFFFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0001&names_name_ind=P&ret_names_cor_number=P94000090600&ret_cor_web_names_seq_number=&ret_names_name_ind=&ret_names_comp_name=&ret_names_filing_type=&ret_cor_web_princ_seq=0000&ret_princ_comp_name=BERNSTEINFREDG&ret_princ_type=R
     
    Fred’s love for the environment-fined by EPA and he never built project
    http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e51aa292bac25b0b85257359003d925f/291b0b29b79f5ba0852570d900462bb7!OpenDocument&Highlight=2,wetlands
     
    Bottom Line:
     
    Bernstein has filed for personal bankruptcy twice, once in 1985 and again in late 2009. In 2010 bankruptcy Bernstein received a discharge in bankruptcy of approximately $38 million in debt, most of related to one or more failed real estate development projects.
     
     Bernstein has been the subject of numerous litigations relating to several failed real estate developments. Unable to identify any real estate developments successfully completed by Bernstein.
     
     Jorge Gutman, Bernstein’s associate in the purported refinancing effort , defaulted on a project for the City of Ocala, leaving the City with over $2.5 million in losses. Gutman was later arrested in February 2010 by the State of Florida for fraudulently stopping payment on contractor checks.

     

  21. Guys, get a life.  None of you are even HM condo owners. 

  22. Uvita says:

    Setting up the back office right now.  Pre-development sales to begin soon.  The concept is simple.  Talk up paradise, take deposits, worry about things getting built later.

  23. Wanderer says:

    What is the real opinion of Marcy Seay?   From the people that really know her.  What she honest with you during the sales process?  Please tell …

    • No she was not honest. Even after you put down a deposit she kept calling and sending e-mails to upgrade to bigger more expensive place and of course a larger deposit. Also kept saying how the homes that we purchased are going to go up and up every year in price instead of going down and disappear. She said how she and her family bought property but yet her name is not on any list of all the homeowners who bought. Is that enough or do you want more? She lied like the rest of them and probably doing the same thing at another company right now. She should be blamed along with all of them

  24. The-Butcher says:

    So when will there be video of this going vertical thing?  I wonder …

  25. Marcy-is-a-princess.com says:

    I can't believe the vicious attacks against Marcy Seay.  All she did was make commissions taking deposits for condos and villas that never got built.  That's a crime?

  26. McMansion says:

    I think it's obvious now the HM guys are going to get away with virtually no downside risk.  With so many projects having gone bust, how do you draw the line between criminal and things just not working out?  Game over.  Next stop Uvita.

  27. The-Angel-Gabriel says:

    We're going vertical guys.  Stay tuned to Ed's twitter page for updates.

  28. Dougy says:

    Has anyone been to the project as of late?

  29. Ghost-of-Paragon says:

    Marcy is taking a lot of unfair hits here.  She was just a salesperson looking to make commissions.

  30. I guess Marcy Seay doesn't mind talking to old investors that she has cheated money out of. Her number is 305-803-8287. She would love to hear from everyone all hours of the night. If she doesn't answer just leave a message again and again everyday and night. Please she would love it. Thank- you

    • Marcy-is-a-princess.com says:

      Not cool putting her phone number up here.  I know Marcy and can vouch for her being very happy with commission dollars she earned.  Why rain on her parade now?  Next stop Uvita boys !!!  Costa Rican paradise awaits …

      • Sorry about that – that comment was made a week ago and we did not publish it. It got approved by mistake. We have unapproved the comment – again sorry, this chat is getting hard to keep track of

  31. Marcy,,,if you are truely going to keep at this at Uvita…you will be shut down…YOU CAN BET ON THAT!!!.. I WILL SINGLE HANDEDLY DESTROY ANYTHING YOU TRY TO DO…I WILL MAKE IT MY SECOND CAREER.  YOU LIED TO ME…YOU WILL PAY FOR THAT!!

    • Ghost-of-Paragon says:

      Is Marcy still in communication with you guys?

    • Dougy says:

      The lady has a right to earn a living.  She is just doing the selling.

      • I guess Marcy Seay doesn't mind talking to old investors that she has cheated money out of. Her number is 305-803-8287. She would love to hear from everyone all hours of the night. If she doesn't answer just leave a message again and again everyday and night. Please she would love it. Thank- you

  32. Just wrote an article on my website about Hacienda Matapalo and if my estimates are right they obsconded with somewhere between 6.5 and 13 million given their claim of 65 million in presales and assuming a 10 to 20 percent deposit put down by each investor/buyer. If this is true, then they never intended to build the project from the beginning. A few thousand dollars for renderings and a website, another grand for a couple pieces of heavy equipment and someone to take some video. I can't see where they spent more than a few grand on tangible things. I a partner in another nearby development and we started to sell about 1 year after HM started to sell and we have had 7 million in sales. From that income we have built 22 villas, a community center, rancho with pool, roads and infrastructure, planted acres of food, have 2 tilapia ponds, goat houses, chicken coops, greenhouses and 20 more villas near completion. We have 10 families living here and 20 more villas near completion. Our 750 acres is wholly owned and there is no debt on the property. My point is simply that with as much money as they took in they could have built a whole lot of stuff if they had meant to from the start. Sounds like a carbon copy of Paragon Properties a year or two ago.  Sorry for your losses. If you want to see how a development is done right come for a visit next time you're in Costa Rica if you haven't gotten too bad a taste in your mouth.  And remember that these people were from the US… so don't blame Costa Rica or its people. The country is amazing when you get past the unscrupulopus con artists that take advantage of people looking for the dream lifestyle this country offers. Good luck to you all in trying to recoop your investments. I'm sure they pissed it all away in exhorbitant salaries leading exhorbitant lives on the backs of the investors.

    • HM-is-no-more says:

      Boo-Hoo.  You act like the people who signed up for this insanity are free of sin.  Do you realize some "paid" over $250,000 for a piece of land in an undeveloped cow pasture?   How do you explain that?

      • CanadianBirdWatcher says:

        Well said. In the end, the onus is on the Buyers.  They signed the contract and bought raw land in the middle of nowhere.  We visited the property one time and passed after we had insects the size of small bats biting on our necks during the site visit.  And Buyers that never did a site visit?  Sorry, but shame on you for giving them your money.

    • You are fairly accurate.  It is more like 21 million in deposits and full payments. Then the private lender loans of ????? and the 3 million dollar loan they borrowed for the infrastructure. 
      FYI  many of the staff were Paragon employees.  Marcy Seay for one.

    • Gabriel says:

      No one begrudges anyone a pitch…yours is more transparent than most.  The assessments of HM here is mostly junk science though.  They inflated the sales figures to reflect forced appreciation over five years of selling.  The original lots were sold for about 40k.   This was part of the scheme.  The other thing is that UTA has personal guarantees on the loan so I would be surprised if any of them winds up walking away with anyone's money.  They certainly aren't going to keep any in CR.  The balance sheet from the BK filing would tell the tale.

      • Starks says:

        The selling of Hacienda Matapalo was a work of art.  Obviously, going vertical has been more of a challenge.  The Florida offices are still buzzing with activity as preperation continues toward the next phase of construction.

  33. Hey Marcy is alright to give your address and phone numberi out in case anyone is in your neighborhood and wants to stop by and say hello?

    • Marcy, Rob asked you question.
      Marcy is busy putting a team together to sell property in Uvita Costa Rica. She started a couple months ago.

      • Gabriel says:

        What's funny is that the original owner of the HM property has holdings in Uvita including the McMansion that is on the HM web site.  Coincidence?

  34. Mr. smith says:

    Oh no… Marcy… More than just make a commission…we are on your trail…don't try to sell again in Costa Rica… We will find you and Sabatoge you and/or any company you work for….you can be sure of that…you had a moral and legal obligation to expose the companies fiscal problems and rather than continue to collect money and pay yourselves, you included!!!!

  35. more than just BAD BUSINESS DECISIONS DAVID!!…WE'LL LET ATTORNEYS BE THE JUDGE…YOUR COMPANY HAS NOTHING LEFT..BUT YOU HAVE A LEGAL OBLIGATION TO EXPOSE THE DETAILS OF ALL MONIES SPENT, TO THE PENNY!..YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN NOT HIDE
    ALL INVESTORS…WILL UNITE!!!!

  36. Marcy says:

    At some point you guys have to just let this thing go.  It's over …

    • MARCY,,,MORE ON YOUR ROLE IN THIS LATER!!!!

    • You would like us to let it go.  Not until funds are returned, property is deeded to investors or the partners are held accountable it is not over. It's just starting. 

      • I AGREE WITH YOU. IF YOU ARE AN INVESTOR AT HM, SPEAK OUT NOW.  POST YOUR CONTACTS ON THIS WEB SITE AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIAS.  AN ACTION GROUP IS UNDERWAY.  INVESTORS HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO WHATEVER UTA CAPITAL OR ANY OTHER ENTITY OWNS NOW. THAT LAND HAS LEGAL CONTRACTS ATTACHED TO IT!!!!!

      • Marcy says:

        Bunch of complainers …

  37. Real-DM says:

    I feel bad as well.  Now can we move on?  I am going into a new career.  How about wishing me well?  So much bad blood up here over a few million dollars.

  38. Marcy says:

    I don't like the kharma here.  We all feel bad things worked out so poorly for investors.

  39. Lord-of-Matapalo says:

    I think we should put this whole sad circus to bed.  Money is gone.  Hope lost.  Dreams shattered.  30 years from now, someone will stumble on the HM infrastructure and scratch their heads wondering what could/should have been.

  40. Brainchild says:

     

    When researching everything you have to wonder if the partners of HM were scammed themselves by Centam LTD who tried to file Bankruptcy to waive the UTA debt.   Who actually got the funding and how much did they actually get of it??? Good question.   Seems like the Centam guys had been around the block with all their bankruptcy cases and various LLC's…    A lot of planning did go into HM and in a way wish someone would step up and take over development as it would have been a beautiful development.
    Just saying…
     

     

    • Brainchild says:

      Correction:  Meant to say scammed by Intermall777, Ltd not Centam as they are Centam

      • Gabriel says:

        @Brain(of a)child. Centam was scammed by Intermall because Matluck was clueless.   The difference being that Matluck and bottom feeder Sklar misrepresented the capability to build homes on a property with no power as recently as this year.  This goes WAY past bad decision making.

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