Brutal Mexican Cartels Drain Elderly Americans’ Life Savings in Timeshare Scam

2024-04-08 10:00:33

A recent report shows that in 2022, Mexican drug cartel have drained $40 million from Americans, and stole many elderly victims’ life savings.

It’s part of a rapidly evolving timeshare scam run by the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) that is becoming more intricate, and is now estimated to be stealing hundreds of millions from Americans each year.

It started as a small operation in the Puerto Vallarta area and expanded to popular tourist spots like Cancun, according to the U.S. Treasury, which issued sanctions against seven fugitives and 19 Mexican companies connected to the scam last April.

“CJNG uses extreme violence and intimidation to control the timeshare network, which often targets elder U.S. citizens and can defraud victims of their life savings,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in November. “The Treasury remains committed to the Administration’s whole-of-government effort, in coordination with our partners in Mexico, to disrupt CJNG’s revenue sources and ability to traffic deadly drugs like fentanyl.”

The complex fraud involved an escrow company in Manhattan, a fake Mexican intelligence officer, and domain names registered in Arizona and Reykjavik, One of the elderly duped (James from California) lost over $1 million in the scam.

James contacted Mike Finn, founder of Finn Law Group in St. Petersburg, Florida, who has represented thousands of people facing an array of timeshare frauds, some of whom appear to have been targeted by Mexican cartels.

Finn said timeshare owners are particularly vulnerable because they are unable to offload them in any other way, so when an offer comes in ‘their excitement blinds them to the details’.

The attorney said the Mexican scams he has come across typically operate in a similar way: instead of fees being deducted from the closing fee, like a US house sale, the fraudsters convince their American victims that the process is different across the border, with vendors required to pay fees separately.

‘I had one woman contact me who said her mother had lost her savings to one of these scams,’ the attorney told

‘When I asked her how much that was, she said $1.2million. They were only offering $300,000 for the timeshare.’

One U.S. government official estimated the fraud from the cartel has diverted hundreds of millions of dollars a year into crime coffers.

“It’s more cash in hand than they make from drugs,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The overhead is really low for this.”

Few of the telemarketing firms have been criminally charged, partly because the business shape-shifts, abandoning shell companies and bank accounts as authorities identify them, then quickly creating new ones.

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned 40 Mexican companies associated with the Jalisco cartel and its telemarketing scam. But few people have been arrested.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has received an average of 1,400 complaints per year, related to timeshare fraud from Mexico, over the past five years. And more people are reporting timeshare fraud every year.

“What we’re seeing here is an increase in the number of complaints,” said FBI Deputy Assistant Director James Barnacle. ”That’s evidence that the fraud schemes are growing.”

Perhaps if Biden’s FBI were less focused on conservative Catholics, those who were in D.C. on January 6, 2020, and pro-life protesters, its agents could devote more time to protecting our elderly from brutal and greedy foreign crime cartels.


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