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Lopesan Buy Out the Lyng Family´s 50% of Anfi.

So it has finally happened, the news broke yesterday afternoon that Ragnar Lyng, the heir to the late Bjorn Lyng founder of Anfi, has sold his 50% share to Lopesan IFA. It is reported that Lopesan has paid 41.3 million euros with the papers having now been signed.

The deal has been on the cards for around ten years, since the death of his father none of the Lyng family have lived in Gran Canaria. All of the legal problems that have beset the partnership with Santana Cazorla have been bitter and very public. There have been battles over control of the board, court cases involving millions of euros which have been diverted to the Cazorla Group, as well as a long running court battle which also involved Lopesan.

 

The newspaper La Provincia 7/2/2013 reported that Santana Cazorla provided a Promissory note to avoid foreclosure of ANFI by Lopesan who claimed a debt of 14 million euro. Lopesan claimed the ANFI Group owed 14 million euros for the land in Tauro purchased from the Cardenas family. Lopesan claimed it was owed this as they had bought a Cardenas debt.

The Lopesan Group is well known on Gran Canaria, it has many hotels which are of a very high standard, 3 of which are located in Meloneras. Lopesan has no timeshare interest and are purely a hotel chain, so this begs the question what are their plans? Will the Anfi resort become another all inclusive, what is going to happen to the timeshare owners?

 

Over the past 18 months Anfi have been beset with severe legal problems, the Supreme Court has made a staggering 17 rulings against Anfi. These cases which have been brought on behalf of purchasers of the Anfi timeshare product by the local law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, has cost the Anfi group millions of euros. There are still over 100 cases waiting to be heard by the Supreme Court, with hundreds more pending at the lower courts.

 

Along with the investigations into the Tauro Beach project, which has already resulted in the head of the Canarian Coastal Authority being sacked, there is the possibility of more court cases of a much more serious nature in the pipeline. Could all this be the reason that Santana Cazorla himself has “retired” to Morocco as published in a previous article, the fact one of his bitterest rivals is now a 50% shareholder, along with the possibility of charges over Tauro Beach, does make it look like he has actually “done a runner”.

 

The main question now is what is going to happen in respect of the Anfi members, will this new partnership of “enemies” have an effect on the resort? Are Anfi still going to be selling its product, or is the sales side going to close? These and many other questions will eventually be answered and Inside Timeshare will publish the news as it comes in.

 

Search Anfi for all the articles previously published, click on the links below for some of the main events.

 

If you have any questions about this subject or any other article contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them.

 

http://thecanarynews.com/anfi-del-mar-sold-to-ifa-for-e41m/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-boss-cazorla-going-morocco-retirement-escape/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/irregularities-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

More From Across The Pond.

As we all know trying to sell your timeshare or as they like to call it today “holiday ownership”, is a bit of a minefield. Who can you trust?

 

Our friends from across the Atlantic have the same problems, you think you have got rid of your timeshare, then suddenly you receive the annual maintenance bill. The resort does not recognise the transfer. This happened to many people who ended up buying into Designer Way Vacation Club several years ago.

 

With this particular scheme, you “sold” your timeshare to DWVC but had to pay many thousands of pounds to become a member of their club. The perks, well, you could stay in the same resorts for a fraction of the cost, discounts on flights, and off course no more maintenance bills. Oh yes, I almost forgot, you also were given a “cashback” certificate, this was for the value of your timeshare plus a bit extra for the cost of your membership. Then after registering it (which was a nightmare task), you had to wait around 5 years for it to mature. If you were lucky you may have got a few quid back, that’s if you claimed correctly.

 

Then after finding that the so called “discounts” were not what you were told at the presentation, (actually costing more), you suddenly received a maintenance bill for several years arrears. All this with the threats of legal action by a debt collecting agency. DWVC did not transfer your timeshare, or the resort did not recognise it.

 

This has also happened to one old lady who owned a MacDonalds timeshare, Yes, I am referring to Mrs B. Her timeshare has been sold for 1euro, (she actually paid the company around £7,500 to relinquish, not sell it). MacDonalds is now chasing for maintenance arrears because they do not recognise the transfer.

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Following is an article written by Tom Tubbs, an advisory member of The National Timeshare Owners Association, the American equivalent of TATOC. In this article he clearly shows how some companies in the US operate and how it affects the resorts and owners. This was sent to me by my American colleague Irene Parker.

 

By Tom Tubbs

Island Consulting Realty – NTOA Advisory Board Member

 

We’ve all heard the radio commercials, received the postcards in the mail, seen the TV ads, seen the web sites:

 

“Get out of your timeshare now! Call us today. Guaranteed or your money back!”

 

“You own a timeshare you can’t sell? We guarantee to get you out”.

 

“Dear friends. This is ‘Mr/Ms. Celebrity’. I trust these people”.

 

Now, think back. Remember the similar ads we heard from different companies years ago? Where are those companies now? What happened to them? Are these just new companies who rose up to fill in the gap? Hmmm…..

 

So, how is it that you could sell your timeshare but continue to be on the hook for the maintenance fees? What I’m going to share with you is a real story that is taking place right this minute. The names are changed, obviously. The way it’s being handled is not brand new, but relatively so and it’s happening more and more and more. Read the story and make sure you don’t fall victim to this.

 

So we’ve told you in the past about “transfer companies”. You pay them $3500 or so and they take your time share from you and they promise that your days of owning a timeshare and paying the maintenance fees are done. Many of these are perfectly good timeshares that could be sold and money put into the pockets of the owner, but if you’re a reader of this newsletter you know the stories the transfer companies tell you to convince you to give up your money. These companies for the most part have no real estate license so that they don’t have to worry about a state agency looking over their shoulder. Many of them come and go quickly…..with your money.

 

But there’s a new sheriff in town. A company called Timeshare Transfer Registry (real name) monitors timeshare transfers. They are especially suspicious about transfers going into the name of an LLC or Trust. Suspicions go up when they see 10, 20, 50, 100 or more timeshares being transferred into the same name. Resorts can register with TTR to try to protect themselves from being deceived by the transfer company.

 

So here’s what happened. “ABC Resort” (names are changed now) gets a copy of a recorded deed showing one of their owners sold their timeshare to “Whoopie Doo, LLC”. The resort contacted Timeshare Transfer Registry and learned that Whoopie Doo owns a LOT of timeshares. It’s looking pretty obvious that the LLC will never pay the resort a maintenance fee and the resort at some point will have to foreclose (that’s what happened to your timeshare). You don’t care, right? You’ve sold your timeshare and the deed is out of your name, right? Wrong……to an extent. You’re definitely going to care. Here’s why.

 

The resort notified the LLC that they noticed the LLC has purchased a LOT of timeshares and it looks like an obvious case of a transfer company about to dump the timeshares on the resort; costing the resort a ton of money. The resort refused to acknowledge the transfer.

 

In an interesting twist, the LLC contacted the resort and swore up and down they were not the same “Whoopie Doo, LLC” that owns so many time shares. Seriously? Really? The resort contacted National Timeshare Owners Association (NTOA, http://www.NationalTimeshareOwnersAssoc.com/) asking for advice. (Now in the interest of full disclosure I want to mention I am on the advisory board of NTOA. Before I became a member of the board, however, I was singing the praises about this organization for a long time. Becoming a member [talking about you, dear reader] is not a bad thing. You know I would never steer you wrong). I was asked my opinion about this. I advised that the resort tell Whoopie Doo to go pound sand. Whoopie will probably threaten legal action but the resort should stand firm. The last thing con artists like Whoopie Doo want to do (hey! That rhymes!) is walk into a court of law.

 

So now here is an interesting situation. You’ve paid a company $3500 to take your time share. You have signed the deed over to this LLC. You actually no longer own the timeshare, this is technically true. But the resort is refusing to acknowledge the transfer which means you are still on their books as the owner and you’re going to get a maintenance fee bill each year! Congratulations! Now, you won’t find this out until you get your bill next year. By that time, good luck on finding those nice folks who took your $3500. You now no longer own a timeshare and you’re on the hook for the yearly maintenance fees.

 

“Wait”, you say, “How can the resort refuse to acknowledge a lawfully recorded transfer of a deed”. (we heard you thinking this). Well, there’s this little thing called fraud. It was a fraudulent transfer designed to make money by bringing harm to the resort. (As a side note: Some resort who have been burned by this are now suing not only the folks behind the LLC but also the original owner [that would be……you] claiming fraud).

 

So how do you protect yourself? First, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to sell your timeshare, call us. It’s what we’ve done for folks for the past 30 years and we offer different programs depending on what you have and your particular situation. There’s not many folks we can’t help. And for the few we can’t help, we can refer you to the right person who can or offer free advice on what to do. Secondly, if you’re bound and determined that you trust that famous celebrity or the nice person across the table from you who wants you to pay them a lot of money, ask them for a copy of their real estate license. They should offer no excuses, no “this doesn’t apply to us” stories; they either have one or they don’t. If they don’t, well……..I’d hate to be writing a story about your situation in an up-coming newsletter.

 

At least in the US there is a company which tries to ensure this does not happen, The Timeshare Transfer Registry, but even with this in place the scam still goes on, not only losing thousands for the owners but also for the resorts.

 

So what can you do about not getting caught, unfortunately there is no straight answer. All you can really do is check the company and check again, ask your resort do they recognise the company you are dealing with. If you are undertaking a private sale, again check with your resort on how the transfer is done legally. Once the transfer is complete, again check with your timeshare company or resort that you are no longer registered as the owner and liable for maintenance.

 

The biggest problem is actually finding someone who wants to buy it in the first place, just look on ebay! There are alternatives to trying to sell, some resorts will take them back, for those that do not, then there is a legal process of relinquishment. Yes this will cost, the amount again depends on the company, but beware, as Mrs B found out she paid for a relinquishment but ended up with a transfer of ownership to another person and this is not recognised by the resort.

 

If you have any questions about this article or any other timeshare matter, Inside Timeshare is here to help. Contact through the comments section and will find the answer or point you in the right direction.

News From Across the Great Lake.

On many occasions Inside Timeshare publishes news as it comes in from the United States, much of this comes from my colleague Irene Parker. Irene is a long standing Diamond member, although she and her husband are happy with the holidays and membership over the years, she has highlighted the main problems in many articles. Irene also publishes articles in The Street, an online financial journal, in these articles she mainly highlights the stocks and shares side of the many timeshare companies. Whether they are a good investment or not and the reasons behind some of the falls in these share prices. (see link to her latest article in The Street at foot of the page).

 

In many of her articles she also highlights what they call in America as the secondary market, or to us in Europe the resale market. The fact that no secondary market exists for owners of Diamond Resorts International, is one of the biggest complaints owners have. Another that we are very familiar with in Europe is the difficulty in being able to exit your membership. In the US, the perpetuity contract is not illegal, unlike in Europe where the EU Directives on Timeshare have stated contracts should be for no longer than 50 years. As we have seen from the Supreme Court rulings in Spain, this is actually helping people to get out of their contracts and in many cases being paid back the full purchase price for being sold an illegal contract.

 

Many people in America are watching the events here in Europe, especially in Spain, taking stock of the way timeshare laws are being implemented. Some are even wondering if these laws can be brought into place for them in the USA.

dri logo

Following is the email she sent with a letter from Stephen J Cloobeck of Diamond, she also points out two complaints on Tripadvisor, then her own letter to Mr Cloobeck.

 

An Open Letter to Mr. Cloobeck from Irene Parker

 

A Message from Stephen J. Cloobeck

 

Dear Members and Owners, 

I am thrilled with the completion of the acquisition of Diamond Resorts by an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (“Apollo”), and am confident that this transaction will only enhance your vacation experience at Diamond resorts worldwide. 

Diamond Resorts was founded on the platform of The Meaning of Yes®, a customer-centric ideology that elevates the hospitality experience above all else. The company goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional vacations to its members, owners and guests so that you can enjoy a lifetime of memories and experiences that can be passed down from generation to generation. Over the years this platform has transformed into a core belief and our philosophy of We Love to Say Yes®. 

 

Recent complaint posted on Trip Advisor:

 

  1. Re: Diamond Resorts International (Trip Advisor)

Sep 01, 2016, 10:10 PM

To Glenvine32 – my husband and I got caught in this scam to our incredible embarrassment. We thought we were smarter and I should have read reviews before we went to their presentation in May in Sedona, AZ. It was a 4 hour ordeal and we bought a worthless 2500 points which we have not used nor plan to. We have since heard from their own reps that we should have never been offered so few points, that those were add on points to be purchased by owners – not prospective buyers. We are retired and will never get value out of these points even if we buy more which we absolutely have no plans to do.

Having read so many negative reviews now I am concerned we will have little recourse. It’s bad enough losing the 13k but to be held to annual fees for at the rest of our lives? Have contacted them by phone and have drafted a letter to send by registered mail. Probably won’t get a reply. I don’t want to resign myself to the loss of the money but what’s worse is how it will affect my credit. Any thoughts? How did you do?

Complaint #2

I am at the Cancun resort in Las Vegas and went to a breakfast where they said they would simply update me about the changeover to Diamond. I was told that I should have been invited to a dinner where I would have been given options, decided by a judge in a legal ruling against Monarch due to their bankruptcy. They proceeded to show me a print out that said when my current term expires in August. I would have to pay $573 per quarter to Monarch. They said that due to the bankruptcy, I would have no equity. That was option one. Pay more, have nothing. The other option they said was to transfer into Diamond at a cost of $12,000 plus and pay a yearly maintenance fee of $1,700. Less than the $2,292 I would soon be giving Monarch. They also told me that I would then have equity of $41,000 that I could sell. I was in tears. I do not have any extra money. In fact I have been looking for ways to get out of Monarch for over a year now. They said that was not an option and that as an owner, I was now proportionally responsible for their debt. I felt trapped and signed all the papers to transfer, with no idea how I can pay. After reading the comments above I am even more scared. I am trying to start my own business and am already in severe debt. They claimed when they ran my credit though that it looked better than most and assured me I qualified for financing. I would have to pay off, basically transfer to credit cards, which I can barely make my payments on now before I could look to sell. One of the reps assured me that she would put me in touch with someone who could help me sell my points. She even gave me her cell phone number to call after the sale/transfer is finalized. I am really scared though. Please help! We have to do something. It seems as though they have no qualms about lying to and robbing people for their own benefit.

September 5, 2016

Dear Mr. Cloobeck,

If I were you, I would be thrilled with the millions you and other insiders made on the Apollo leveraged buyout; along with the millions paid out in executive compensation.  For Diamond owners who are widowed, elderly, ill, unemployed or victims of high pressure sales, slogans like “Stay Vacationed!” and “The Meaning of Yes” feel like a cruel taunt.

According to a Kroll Bond report, Diamond employs 90 full time collectors making over 100,000 calls per week via a dealer. These calls originate because of being told no. All firms have a few bad apples and complaints on the internet, but complaint sites are flooded with Diamond Resort and Westgate complaints.

Please explain to me how the contract I signed is different from a junk bond in that it became worthless the moment I signed it if I could no longer travel and needed to sell. In the subprime mortgage debacle, even properties foreclosed could be sold.

My husband and I have used and enjoyed timeshare for over 25 years without a question or complaint until Diamond purchased ILX. We signed a contract that said we could sell points. We also asked several times if we would be able to sell points if we could no longer travel and were told we could.

The first person who told me Diamond points cannot be sold was attorney Bob Massi of the FOX show Property Man. After Property Man aired a segment explaining how to unload a timeshare, I contacted David Cortese of Magical Realty. Mr. Cortese was featured on a Property Man segment stressing the importance of using a licensed resale broker to sell a timeshare, rather than listing or transfer agents that come with a minefield of scams.

I wrote to Mr. Massi after enduring a pathetically aggressive sales presentation at Grand Beach in Orlando last July. We were promised three times we would not be paired with a commissioned agent. We were greeted and tortured by three commissioned sales agents.  

In a timeshare presentation, an agent gleefully explains how Diamond has many affiliated resorts. Our daughter lives in New York City. In searching for a Diamond location, I found a Diamond affiliated resort. It required 63,000 points. It was the least expensive offered. This equates to over $10,000 in our maintenance fee dollars. Booked through the hotel, the cost including taxes is $2,693.  I will be sending a copy of this letter to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the few AGs actually on the side of the consumer. I doubt there is a sales agent in the Diamond organization that would explain affiliated properties are not discounted. A Diamond representative explained that these Diamond offers are for platinum owners who have so many points they don’t know what to do with them. They are probably short on math skills.

Never imagining I would earn a response from Mr. Massi, I was contacted and learned the show received a multitude of timeshare complaints after airing “The Queen of Versailles”. The producer told me I was the only person selected for an interview because I was the only person that said I would like to talk about timeshares positives in addition to the negatives.

It is my understanding that not one member of the 64 member Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association will buy or sell Diamond’s non-deeded points or Westgate weeks due to restrictions placed on the use of points purchased on the secondary market and other tactics designed to restrict the secondary market.  I also leaned members of the LTRBA will buy and sell all Diamond’s competitor programs except Westgate. I sent a survey to all the members and received 16 responses. These I compiled and forwarded to the Attorney General of Arizona and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

The Trip Advisor complaint I included with this letter has convinced me that Diamond has become so brazen; the company is confident it can get away with anything indefinitely and unchallenged. Unless an owner is fortunate to live in a state like New York or Tennessee, Attorney Generals do not seem to consider timeshare abuse a cause worth pursuing.

Many of the complaints are about availability and maintenance fees. The 15% pure profit Mr. Palmer bragged about to shareholders, added on to maintenance fees, is excessive. In a Latticework article written in cooperation with ADW Capital, the lack of a secondary market is mentioned as a reason to buy Diamond stock. From my research, I have determined Diamond and Westgate are the only two timeshare companies that have restricted the secondary market to the extent it does not exist.

I have written an article entitled Sometimes a Diamond Resort Dream Vacation Turns into a Nightmare. Diamond’s in-house council, Ben La Luzerne, said he hoped he could help the Saldana family devastated by Diamond’s rising maintenance fees and victim of high pressure sales. They were told to get a home equity loan to reduce Diamond’s high interest rate.  I am still waiting to hear back from the family before publishing the article, hoping for a positive outcome.

What I am asking, is for Diamond to reach out to a few members of the LTRBA to see what would be needed to create a secondary market. Unlike most internet complainers, I can live with the maintenance fees and the problems with availability. I would like to enjoy my retirement instead of researching, on a daily basis, how Diamond is ruining the financial lives of so many, especially the elderly.

I look forward to hearing how we can work together to stop the harm Diamond is placing on the ill, the widowed, the elderly, the unemployed and the victims of the oral representation clause protecting Diamond and be able to say YES! to the people .

Sincerely,

Irene Parker

The Peasant of Venice (Florida)    

As you can see, our cousins across the pond are not very happy with how Diamond Resorts International operate. They too are locked into contracts which are almost impossible to extricate yourself from. The fact that their so-called investments in Vacation ownership Interests (US term for holiday ownership) are virtually worthless. Lets hope that they take stock of what is happening in Europe and use it to help the many owners in the US to get some protection.

Inside Timeshare thanks Irene and the many others who have contributed to the information we share with you, we also thank the many readers in the US for their support of this publication.

If you have any questions about this article or any other matter, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to answer them. If you are looking for advice on who to go to for cancellation of contracts or possible claims, Inside Timeshare will help point you in the right direction.

Link to The Street article by Irene Parker

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13653117/1/the-timeshare-industry-has-improved-its-reputation-but-still-faces-scrutiny.html

 

CLA Client Receives Payment from Anfi.

Yesterday 30 August 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance announced that one of their clients has received the money awarded by the courts.

 

CLA Logo

Earlier this year the client had a favourable decision by the High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, this was once more against Anfi. This court again used the Supreme Court Rulings in reaching their verdict. The Client will receive over 33,000€ plus interest and legal fees, CLA reports that the client is still yet to receive this interest and legal fee payment as it is dealt with separately.

 

It appears that these cases are not only getting to court quicker, but the payments are being received by the client in a much speedier manner. This is proof that the rulings made by the Supreme Court are having a profound effect on the lower courts.

miguel1
Miguel Rodriguez Cabellos Senior CLA lawyer representing the clients

This is obviously another blow for the Anfi empire, with more cases still in the pipeline including over 100 still to be heard at the Supreme Court. What with all the legal wrangles over the Tauro Beach Project, in which work has been suspended pending the investigation by the Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA). Also there is the matter of the complaints made to the Guardia Civil by the residents of Tauro for damage caused by the floods on 4 August. There is no doubt another court case will be in the offing for compensation.

seprona

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the news which was published by La Provincia about the Anfi boss Santana Cazorla, who is reportedly taking “refuge” in Morocco, things are not looking that good for Anfi. So this again begs the question of where is all this going to leave Anfi and above all you the members?

 

The past is certainly starting to catch up with this company, who are no strangers to controversy, Inside Timeshare has highlighted some of these in past articles. (see links at the foot of the page).

 

If you would like more information on these judgements and how they may affect your contract, Inside Timeshare will try to answer any questions. These Supreme Court rulings also apply to other timeshare companies, and we will be happy to give you the information as to how they may also affect you.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-tauro-beach-project-people-flooded/

http://insidetimeshare.com/tauro-beach-project-latest-news/

Anfi Boss Cazorla Going to Morocco: Is it Retirement or Escape?

 

 

Diamond Resorts Sell Garden Lago Interest.

Just recently it was announced that Diamond had sold its interest in the Garden Lago Resort, Alcudia Mallorca. The new management company that has taken over is the ONA Group, who also run the former Sunterra / Diamond resort Cala de Mar in Cala Egos and also the Cala Pi resort in Llucmajor.

logo_Onagrup

Diamond did not own the resort, they were purely the management company charged with operating it. This is the same for all the resorts that come under the Diamond Brand. Many of the original owners at Garden Lago purchased fixed weeks, then were converted to the points system under Sunterra and then Diamond. Under this system they are members of Diamond Resorts International and have no rights at Garden Lago.

 

So what does this mean for members?

 

While Diamond ran the resort, members had the right to use with full member benefits that Diamond offered. Now the only way to stay at this resort as a Diamond points member is to use the exchange programme, either through Interval International or RCI. Unfortunately this will not include the full Diamond member benefits.

 

For one family this has come as a rather big blow, their story was posted on Tripadvisor just recently. They state that they had been on holiday in Mallorca and attended a presentation at Garden Lago, and liked what they saw, they then purchased the Discover Diamond Package.

 

After visiting the resort on several occasions, they decided to purchase the full Diamond Points system, as they told the sales staff, it was on the basis that they only wanted to use Garden lago. They were not interested in other resorts that Diamond had to offer, Mallorca held some special holiday memories for them, and as stated before they loved the resort itself.

dri logo

Now that Diamond no longer has a presence on Mallorca and especially at Garden Lago, they believe that their contract with Diamond has been altered significantly. Unfortunately, this is the problem with the points system, members do not have any rights at the resort in which they made the purchase. So, the only way their points membership will get them the full benefits, is to use another resort managed by Diamond.

 

This is one example of why the Spanish Supreme Court declared the points system illegal, the other is that it is subject to availability, your holiday at a particular resort is not guaranteed.

 

For this family it will also now incur considerable expense, when it was managed by Diamond they would use the Diamond booking system. Now they will need to pay Interval International or RCI membership, including the exchange fees.

 

As reported elsewhere, Diamond have had a fall in their net income of around 28%, normally Diamond are buyers, it may be this fall that has prompted the sale. Could this be just the first, are there more planned? Are Diamond offloading some of their European Collection and is it linked with the acquisition by Apollo?

 

These questions may not be answered yet, but time will tell. As the news comes in Inside Timeshare will bring it to you.

 

If you have any questions about this or any timeshare matter, contact Inside Timeshare for free and impartial advice.

Anfi Boss Cazorla Going to Morocco: Is it Retirement or Escape?

El Diario a Spanish Daily newspaper has today published news that Santiago Santana Cazorla, the 50% shareholder of the Anfi Group is moving to Morocco for “retirement”. Their headline is Santana Cazorla se refugia en Marruecos” or Santana Cazorla takes refuge in Morocco. (see links at foot of page).

eldiario

Cazorla himself puts it down to starting a new phase in his life with new business projects, but within the business world it is seen very differently. Some of the explanations are somewhat different, it is widely believed it is down to the endless succession of problems he is facing, not only within his company but also it seems his private life.

 

It is known that he has had many conflicts with his brother Manuel, and various lawsuits have taken place. One is still in process, this involves a corruption scandal known as the Gondola case, it has been ongoing for around ten years at the court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. This case has been in the hands of around a dozen judges and several prosecutors.

Santiago Santana Cazorla
Santiago Santana Cazorla

 

 

 

 

 

His involvement with Bjorn Lyng began during the development of Anfi Tauro, Cazorla purchased 50% of the Anfi company as Lyng needed investment for his Project of Anfi Tauro. This has presented many disputes between the partners over the years, the most notable was the lawsuit brought by the Lyngs over the misappropriation of funds. The Lyngs instigated criminal proceedings at The Court of Instruction No 3 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, after it was discovered that around 9 million euros had been diverted to the Cazorla company Hermanos Cazorla, it was said that these funds were used to pay private debts. This money had to be replaced to avoid criminal proceedings so is basically on hold.

 

It has also been suggested that Cazorla is selling off his 50% share of Anfi, it is rumoured that Alfredo Morales may be the buyer, this has been sparked off by the relationship between him and the Director General of the Anfi Group José Luis Trujillo. Morales is also a shareholder of Binter Canarias, the Canarian Airline. This will no doubt please the Lyng family to be rid of Cazorla, after all on many occasions they have tried to oust him from the board, which he controls (see link Battle of Partners).

ANFIDELMAR, (MOGÁN), 30-08-2006, FOTOS: SANTI BLANCO. ENTREVISTA A JOSÉ MANUEL SORIA, PRESIDENTE DEL CABILDO DE GRAN CANARIA.
José Manuel Soria during his stay at Anfi

It is the projects at Anfi Tauro and now the Tauro Beach project that has been the cause of many of his headaches. The first notable scandal was the Salmon case, this involved the then head of the Canarian Government José Manuel Soria and involved his trip with Bjorn Lyng, flying by private jet to Austria for a concert and then on to Norway for salmon fishing. Hence the name of the case. Then staying as a guest at Anfi del Mar also courted controversy. At the time the Anfi Tauro Project was about to undergo considerable streamlining, permissions would not be granted unless this happened. Just after this trip and holiday at Anfi the project was given the go ahead by the government in its entirety, with no streamlining. A reporter then made a denuncia against Soria for corruption, the judge in the case due to certain senior Anfi management testimonies found no case to answer. Again this caused major uproar in the press and in local communities.

 

Now we have a possible corruption scandal about to erupt over the Tauro Beach Project, which Inside Timeshare has been highlighting over the past few weeks (search Tauro Beach). The project involves the creation of a man made beach, boardwalk, shopping center and marina at the Barranco de Tauro, this is being constructed by the Cazorla Construction Company on behalf of the Anfi Group. It involves the importation of 70,000 tonnes of sand from the Sahara, it has also caused many problems for the local residents. It was only at the beginning of August the high tides began overflowing the beach and flooding local homes, had there been a storm at sea coupled with the high tide the situation would have been worse.

gc-seprona

The Guardia Civil Nature Protection Unit (SEPRONA) have  instigated an investigation which resulted in the dismissal of the head of the Canary Islands Coastal Authority José Maria Hernández Leon. The local residents of Tauro have also made formal complaints to the Guardia Civil over the flooding, which the Guardia are now investigating. This particular episode is still in the early stages and may cost the Anfi Group dearly.

 

So the question has to be asked, is this “retirement” or is he fleeing in order to escape the consequences of his actions? After all he is no stranger to scandal, accusations of corruption and lawsuits. The Anfi empire is certainly in disarray, with the scandal erupting over Tauro Beach, then there is the matter of all the court cases for mis-selling and illegal contracts. They have already lost millions of euros in the past year alone, also having 17 Supreme Court judgements against them, with hundreds more in the pipeline.

 

Could it be you the members of Anfi who may just be more victims in all this, what happens if these scandals become full blown court cases? Will you be lumbered with special levies to cover lost money or will you just lose your membership? Only time will tell.

 

If you have any questions or comments about this or any timeshare matter, contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them for you.

 

http://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/topsecret/Santana-Cazorla-refugia-Marruecos_6_549155083.html

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

Nightmare for Anfi!

Following on from the previous articles about Anfi, it seems the controversy just keeps coming, Inside Timeshare has just been sent another facebook link to a video about Tauro Beach. Again it has been posted by one of the locals, showing the devastation the people who live there have had to put up with since the project began.

 

In the sound track you can clearly hear the machinery at work as the person taking the video walks along the perimeter fence. It then shows how the sea is flooding the area, the sea itself is not what could be called rough, in fact it looks a normal day, but as can clearly be seen there are no defences. Just meters away are the homes of the local people, with the sea constantly running along the beach flooding the area.

It does beg the question how did this project ever get approval and why is it continuing?

Are the local people and their problems just being ignored in the interest of business?

tauro2.jpg

The Master Plan!

Is the project trying to clear the area of local people to make way for the proposed development of a shopping centre and other tourist facilities? It would not be the first time business has ridden roughshod over locals, it has happened elsewhere, the Westgate project in Orange County USA has courted similar controversy over treatment of local people.

 

Once the investigation by SEPRONA (Guardia Civil Nature Protection Unit) is completed, we may then have the answers we are looking for. I would not be surprised if we see charges brought against people involved in the licensing of the project, at the very least it would appear to be one of negligence.

 

On another note, social media such as facebook is a powerful tool in bringing information to others. Again a post from facebook has been sent in about Anfi, this time it is from a disgruntled member. This is the post:

Anfi review

From this we can clearly see these so-called “Holidays of a lifetime” are not that at all. The question is why were they not allowed to use the pool facilities, we have seen this complaint posted on other forums before, also why had they been moved to Tauro when they bought Anfi Del Mar?

 

Could it be no availability again, due to overselling or just a problem of “Floating Weeks”? This particular client even states for what he is paying in maintenance and the original purchase cost, he could stay in any other 5 star hotel or resort, booking only 2-3 months in advance and not the 12 months that Anfi customer services have told him. I wonder if he would have been allowed to use the pool had he booked elsewhere, somehow I don’t think that would have been an issue.

 

Again Anfi are in the firing line from their own clients, non existent customer service, not getting what they have paid for, unable to use the facilities and a contract the client feels is worthless. This does not sound like value for money or the “Holidays of a lifetime”, rather more like holidays in nightmare street. How do they get away with charging thousands for membership then treating the members this way, is it a case of so what, we’ve got your money, you’re locked into a contract, just pay your maintenance and shut up!

Inside Timeshare would like to thank all the local people who have shared their images and videos from Tauro, it has helped to highlight your plight to a wider audience.

Remember there is a solution, this has been highlighted in previous articles. If you have had similar experiences to this either with Anfi or any other company and wish to know where you stand, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

Nayaskaya Rguez Llavata just posted this link to Canarias7 with more pictures of Tauro.

http://www.canarias7.es/multimedia/galeria.cfm?id=18562

Also see Canary News

25 years later, a new beach emerges

 

 

 

More Bad News For Anfi!

Over the past week Inside Timeshare has been highlighting the Anfi Group project at Tauro Beach, the fact that an investigation is underway into serious flaws in the licences and permissions granted to Anfi. Also the fact that homes have been subject to flooding because the natural defences of the original beach have been removed, changing the dynamics of the tides and currents, and the question of who is going to pay.

Tribunal-Supremo

On top of all this, Canarian Legal Alliance has just announced the 18th Supreme Court ruling, this will be the 17th against Anfi. Once again the court has ruled in favour of the client awarding them over 45,000€ plus interest and legal fees.

 

The court has reiterated their previous ruling that contracts in perpetuity (over 50 years) are illegal, that floating weeks and the taking of deposits also makes the contracts null & void. Yet we still see Anfi claiming their contracts are legal, they can not seem to acknowledge the fact the Supreme Court has ruled, they still believe the court has got it wrong.

 

Back in March 2016 Anfi issued a statement to their members, also backed up by the RDO, in it they reaffirm their belief the Supreme Court has got it wrong. They also go on to say that when a member takes legal action and wins, they will also have to pay for the holidays they have already taken. (I thought they had already paid with the maintenance fees). (see pdf) Anfi state they will use the Spanish Civil Code in order to enforce payment. (see post http://insidetimeshare.com/rdo-trying-scare-anfi-timeshare-owners/) Again it appears Anfi are trying to scare people from taking legal action, when the clients have the legal right to have their contracts cancelled and be reimbursed for being sold illegally. They have also resorted to emailing clients using out of date accusations from Mindtimeshare. This is obviously an act of desperation, they know they are in trouble not just because of the 17 Supreme Court rulings against them, but also with the recent developments over their Tauro Beach project being investigated.

ANFI Supreme Court Ruling   (click for pdf)

So far nothing has been heard from Anfi regarding the problems at Tauro Beach, no statements have been seen in the press or anything online. Considering they are the ones building the beach and therefore responsible for these events, not even a whisper or any contact with those affected has been seen or heard. Surely any company would have made some kind of statement, even just to say they would look into it.

for sale 1

For those who still believe that their timeshares are worth something, think again. This was sent to Inside Timeshare and apparently comes from Anfi del Mar Friends, it is an advert for a timeshare up for sale and it reads:

 

“Hi folks, if anyone out there is interested in buying a week, I have week ** anfi puerto, one bed with saturday changeover in room ***. Would take £1000 ovno. Also on sale in house at Anfi. It’s a cheap buy for anyone interested”

anfi resale

Well apparently over 5200 have seen it and it still hasn´t gone! I wonder why? Could it be the reputation timeshare has or is it just Anfi? Or is it the ongoing costs, after all the maintenance fees are not cheap, and we did notice there was no mention in the add of the cost. This added to the facts published in previous articles regarding the beach and the court rulings does make it look as though the future for Anfi is likely to be rather bleak!

bleak

If you have any questions regarding anything in this or any previous article contact Inside Timeshare, we will try to answer them and if we do not know the answer we will find out. If you have anything you would like to share, Inside Timeshare would love to hear from you. Need information on any company you may be thinking of using but don´t know where to look we may be able to help.

They keep on coming….. #18

 

Diamond 2nd Quarter Financial Results Announced.

Last week on the 2 August 2016, Inside Timeshare published an article on Diamond Resorts postponing the announcement of their 2nd quarter results.

 

They were finally published yesterday 8 August 2016, it looks like they haven’t done as well as the 2nd quarter of 2015. Irene Parker emailed some of the report as follows:

 

  • Total revenue for the second quarter increased $14.2 million, or 6.1%, to $245.7 million.
  • Net income for the second quarter decreased $10.1 million, or 28.5%, to $25.5 million.
  • Pre-tax income for the second quarter of 2016 was $43.8 million compared to $62.4 million in the second quarter of 2015 and included non-cash charges of $4.1 million and $4.4 million, respectively, related to stock-based compensation. Excluding these amounts, pre-tax income in the second quarter of 2016 would have been $47.9 million, a decrease of $18.9 million from $66.8 million in second quarter of 2015.

 

This is despite the number of reported “Tours” increasing by 11,791 in the 3 months to the end of June, with the number of sales transactions also increasing by 7.3%. They also announced that the average transaction price also increased by around 3.1%, yet they reported that there was a lower closing average for these three months.

 

This is not an area that I am familiar with, so for more detailed information follow the link to the full report at The Street.

 

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13667717/1/diamond-resorts-international-inc-reports-second-quarter-2016-financial-results.html

 

For those of you who are interested in this side of the industry Inside Timeshare will publish as and when the news comes in.

 

Tauro Beach Project: Latest News

Since Inside Timeshare published the last update on the Tauro Beach Project 5 August 2016, Canarias7.es an online paper published further news.

 

http://www.canarias7.es/articulo.cfm?id=430302

 

In the last article we showed a video of the waves crashing up the beach and flooding the homes of local residents. The weather was not what could be called bad and even the waves were not that high. So why has this flooding taken place?

 

Before the creation of the beach, it was made up of rocks and large pebbles, (see picture), this was a natural dispersant of the energy of the tides and waves, it would absorb the waves as they came in, it was also much higher affording a lot more protection. Since the creation of the beach, this natural defence has gone, bringing the high tide 50 meters further up the beach. What we saw in the video is the consequence of creating this beach, the sea has no barrier, therefore it rose up the beach and caused considerable distress to the local inhabitants. The question is, had the seas been in full storm mode what would have happened to the area?

tauro pebble beach

Surely this should have come to the attention of the planners of the project, had the correct investigations taken place. Where are the environmental impact reports on this project, or were the permissions and licences approved without this consideration? Is this another controversy Anfi group have got themselves into?

 

The residents have now filed complaints with the Guardia Civil, who are themselves behind the original investigation. This has already resulted in the dismissal of the head of Canary Islands Coastal Authority, José Maria Hernández Leon, due to severe irregularities found in the permissions granting the project the the Anfi Group.

Playa-Anfi-Tauro-Canarias-Ahora_EDIIMA20160716_0223_18

 

 

 

 

 

One resident has complained that they are “desperate, nobody pays attention to us”. They also fear that the next high tide might not be so forgiving. Their next obstacle is who is going to pay for the damage to these homes, many electrical appliances have been damaged due to flooding in the homes of around 40 centimeters. Will it be the Environment Department of Mogan, The Coastal Authority or are Anfi going to find themselves in another legal wrangle over compensation?

 

If Anfi are found liable as the project developers and it comes to light they were involved with the irregularities of the permissions, what is the cost going to be to them? The project has already cost millions, if it is shelved and the beach reverted back to the original state or some kind of defence built who will be paying the bill?

Anfi-Beach-Construction-3-1

Could it be the Anfi owners / members will end up paying the price with increased maintenance fees, or even as we have seen with Diversified bringing in a special levy? If so the question must be asked, why should they pay for something they are not responsible for? Along with all the court cases against Anfi this could prove very costly for them.

This latest revelation into the business practices of the Anfi Group, certainly raises many questions, has there been undue influence by the group to secure the project? How far up the proverbial political ladder does it go? Will we be seeing charges brought for negligence, influence peddling or some other serious crime?

 

Many questions have been raised over this project, none so far have been answered, especially for the residents of Tauro. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, it is definitely something the Anfi Group could do without, especially as they are under fire in the Supreme Courts over the mis-selling of timeshares over the years. This alone has cost them millions. As we have said before only time will tell, so watch this space.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/irregularities-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/update-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

The following link contains video footage.

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-tauro-beach-project-people-flooded/

 

The following links are from a local resident.

 

If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, Inside Timeshare will be happy to provide the answers. If we do not know the answer, we will find out for you. If you have any comments or would like to share something please leave them in our comments section.