Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco — The Biden administration has sanctioned eight Mexican companies they say are connected to a timeshare fraud scheme. The March 1 sanctions were handed down in a coordinated effort between the U.S. and Mexican governments.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the timeshare fraud network is run by the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), a Mexican organization that the U.S. government says traffics a “significant proportion” of the illegal fentanyl and other drugs into the U. S.
“As the CJNG has consolidated territory over the past decade, it has added other crimes to its core activity of drug trafficking,” Andrea Gacki, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement.
“In tourist destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, CJNG has become heavily engaged in timeshare fraud, which often targets U.S. citizens. This crime, which can defraud victims of their life savings, results in another significant revenue stream for the cartel and strengthens its overall criminal enterprise. Today’s action exposes this CJNG scheme and also serves as a warning to potential victims, many of whom are elderly.”
The sanctions were followed by a consumer alert issued by the OFAC to “make the public aware of telephone, email, and letter scams involving individuals falsely claiming to represent OFAC and requesting payments.”
The agency clarified that the OFAC does not collect this type of payment from the public.
The eight companies designated today, which are linked directly or indirectly to CJNG’s timeshare fraud activities, claim to be financial services or real estate companies.
Five of the companies, Servicios Administrativos Fordtwoo, S.A. de C.V., Integracion Badeva, S.A. de C.V., JM Providers Office, S.A. de C.V., Promotora Vallarta One, S.A. de C.V., and Recservi, S.A. de C.V., are based in or near Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.
Servicios Administrativos Fordtwoo, S.A. de C.V. has also made direct payments to CJNG members.
Puerto Vallarta is a CJNG strategic stronghold for drug trafficking and various other illicit activities.
OFAC has taken multiple actions against CJNG actors in Puerto Vallarta, including those who have ties to nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Additionally, OFAC has designated senior CJNG members Carlos Andres Rivera Varela (a.k.a. “La Firma”), Francisco Javier Gudino Haro (a.k.a. “La Gallina”), and Julio Cesar Montero Pinzon (a.k.a. “El Tarjetas”), who are part of a CJNG enforcement group based in Puerto Vallarta that orchestrates assassinations of rivals and politicians using high-powered weaponry.
The remaining companies designated today, Corporativo Title I, S.A. de C.V., Corporativo TS Business Inc, S.A. de C.V., and TS Business Corporativo, S.A. de C.V., are based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
These eight companies are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059 for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14059, namely, CJNG, the Treasure detailed in their press release.