|DominicanToday.com - The Justice Ministry and the National Registrar of Titles busted a network in the real estate jurisdiction of Higuey (east), which allegedly swindled several people and companies out of more than RD$1.0 billion, elcaribe.com.do reports.
The arrests come after years of complaints by locals and foreigner of scams in the millions in the Higuey(Punta Cana - Bavaro) jurisdiction, a notorious region known for constant swindles.
Lawyers, notaries, ex Higuey real estate jurisdiction employees among others formed part of the network, which forged titles and other certificates.
The authorities identified the detainees as Santiago Brito Guzmán, the lawyer Eulogia Margarita Melo and Remberto Jose Durán Cabrera.
Melo and the ex employee Durán Cabrera will be arraigned today Friday in a National District Court, while Brito Guzmán was already sent to Najayo prison for three months to await trial.
Elcaribe.com.do said the indictment says Guzmán Brito used a forged passport to pose as the “lawyer Felix Gil Morals,” who passed away in 1994, to sell lands of parcel 86, Cadastral District 11, Altagracia province.
The investigation, which uncovered the real estate irregularities in Higuey, is headed by Bolivar Snchez Veloz and the Titles Registrar of that city, Pablo Miguel Caraballo Peña.
The mafia which issued forged property titles was uncovered after a complaint filed by the company Morcasti, S.A., and Mrs. Maria Altagracia Morales widow Marranzini, which became the plaintiffs against the group of alleged swindlers.
The picture for this article is related to one of those who got swindled, here is his story:
Another investor alleges being duped in Bavaro project
Letter from Mr. Fernando Suarez, one of a growing list of investors who say they were duped by Ilonka Castillo:
“I would have loved walking into obras publicas (Public Works Ministry.- Ed.) and recorded the conversations while I was struggling to get my titles. I thought of 20/20 so many times and how BILLIONS of dollars were stopped by corrupt government workers and officials. But for now I will tell you a short story.”
“My life is in total ruin because of the Castillo’s and their lies. Twenty five years of savings, over $1,000,000 dollars in loans, successful real estate practice and my marriage has crumbled over the misappropriation of funds by InterCaribe, the Castillo’s and now IFA resorts.”
“The amount of stories I have been personally involved with are heart breaking. I came to Costa Bavaro in 2004 and built my first 6 apts., and was approached by Mr. Castillo several times to partner with him. Noticing that he was not partner material, I continued investing in land and building in Costa Bavaro. My second construction was 28 apartments in the second phase. I chose that location because of Frank and Ilonka promises to build a club house, and a majestic entrance to Costa Bavaro in the second phase along the new highway.”
“They managed to swindle millions of dollars from Washington Heights investors and never deliver Villas del Sol 2 and Villas de Sol 3. It is very clear that the phase 2 has been forgotten. InterCaribe and Ilonka Castillo believes that the residents of Costa Bavaro will go away by handing over the responsibilities to IFA, a major Bavaro Punta Cana all inclusive resort. This will not happen.”
“There are hundreds of investors, owners and tenants that are being abused and swindled out of their hard earned money and we will not laid down and continue to be taken advantage of . The hotel has too much to lose. Villas del Sol have even more problems, they lost investments and have no titles.”
“Today those projects lie abandoned and millions of dollars left our complex, when promised to be used in the construction with legal and binding contracts. Individuals that lost their monies exist and the contracts exits. The list of broken promises that stem just from those lies has affect millions of dollars including a shopping center and 5 or 6 other projects induced by the Castillos.”
“Because of this the economic flow drastically changed the face of Costa Bavaro. A project that was the central and show piece of Bavaro stopped. The hotel collects in the same amounts and percentages in both phases therefore both phase should be treated the same. I am part of a large group that has gotten together in the past to calmly speak and resolve this matter.”
“The IFA hotel a year ago assured us that this would improve, only again to work in their self interest and join the Castillos in drastic lies. It is now time for the group again to do what is should in the first place. There is sufficient evidence and plenty of angry investors. It would a shame that this news got further into the world with more stories and proof of the Castillos misappropriations of funds and IFA’s continuance of the crime.”
“Let’s keep it simple and only talk about IFA resort, InterCaribe, Frank and IIonka Castillo. IFA resorts bought and inherited the problem from the Castillos but buying they are fully responsible because they receive and distribute all the outrageous maintenance fees from all the homes and apts in Costa Bavaro. Since we all in life with our self interest in mind, IFA only attended to their visual entrance to the hotel. This is why they only take care of the first phase. The hotel guests never see the second phase.
“To whoever will read this email today: I have a list of owners of Costa Bavaro. I am witness to many things and am willing to help in every way to correct the injustice that continues. I am not afraid. I call all the others, that are afraid individually, so we can unite. United we will have the attention of even the president. United we can bring Costa Bavaro back. United we will do the right thing and salvage some of our dignity that was taken away.”
“You know I loved the country of the Dominican Republic but now I don’t know what to do. I am torn. If there is a way to voice my opinion and let the world know that the country has major potential but to be aware I will do anything to support the cause.”
“We have a responsibility to let others know.”
Swindel in Punta Cana - Bavaro is connected to the highest levels!!!!
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