Start the Week: A Little Known Name but Integral to Silverpoint

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, last week we ended with a report on yet another fraud that has come to light involving what we have dubbed The Litigious Abogados Family. This time they have used the website and name of a genuine law firm and using it for their own nefarious purposes, the genuine law firm is now well aware of the situation and has taken appropriate action. Today, however, we bring you a name that has not appeared often on our pages. It is well known among the clients of Silverpoint as this person has been an integral employee of many companies within The Limora Group for many years.

When it comes to the long drawn out story of Silverpoint and the many “fraudulent” products which they have peddled over the years, the main names to appear are always the CEO Mark Cushway, the owner of Limora Group, the late Robert “Bob” Trotta and the “Chinaman”, Kwang Boon Sim, Trotta’s financial guru. 

https://insidetimeshare.com/?s=exclusive+breaking+news

One name which has been left out is Diana Aitchison, who has had a very long association with the various companies linked with Silverpoint. Her positions have been varied and in most cases, it has been in senior management working closely with Mark Cushway.

Diana Aitchison

During all this time, Silverpoint was engaged in the sales of timeshare, a product which they completely turned on its head, from the initial “investment” packs of weeks to the culmination in deception, the “Company Participations”.

It is these “company participations” which are of most interest, as this is where Diana Aitchison’s involvement is questionable.

While with Silverpoint, which were actively promoting and selling the “Company Participation Scheme”, it was in fact Diana Aitchison who “signed off” the majority of the purchases.

To recap, this “scheme” replaced the “investment” weeks, where a “victim” purchased a series of weeks, usually 6 to 8 weeks with apartments attached. These were sold with the promise of a rental income, which would cover the maintenance fees, and after a two year period, they would be resold at a profit.

We know from all the court cases that this never happened.

The “company Participations” scheme was essentially the same product, but there was a twist. The “apartments” were registered as S.L. (Sociedad Limitada) or limited companies. The weeks were “shares” or as they call them, “participations” in this company, the same “promise” was made as with the “investment” weeks, an income from rental, and eventual “ownership” of the company, (this is the simple version, see link below for further information).

https://insidetimeshare.com/silverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare/

Now, remember that Diana Aitchison signed off the majority of these deals, with her move from Silverpoint to Excel Resorts as Chief Operating Officer, she was now responsible for the administration of the “scheme”.

Excel is also a major part of The Limora Group, so in effect is the “sister” company to Silverpoint. Excel manages the resorts, Silverpoint sells them. So it was really a move from one branch to another.

When the “companies” are registered, the Administrators are listed as Excel Hotels & Resorts SA, Diana Joan Aitchison and the Only Partner is Silverpoint Vacations SL.

Talk about keeping it in the family.

When checking the company registration for one “company” Palm Beach Tenerife 077 SL, which was registered around 7 years ago, Diana Aitchison is listed as one of the administrators. The sector the “company” is registered in is “Real Estate or Similar”, a very large category.

It also gives a link to other companies with whom she is associated, one of these is Palm Beach Tenerife 117 SL. In this, she is the “Sole Partner” with Excel as the “Sole Administrator”. But it is also the other links that are of interest, which also brings up links with the “inactive” roles with other companies. Some of which are very familiar names indeed.

Company Record for Palm Beach Tenerife 117 SL, notice the sector.
This does bring up alarm bells, so why was she not suspicious?
The registered Address of Palm Beach Tenerife 117 SL
Positions held
Positions held now inactive
Information is publicly available using https://www.infocif.es/

Another link between Diana Aitchison, Mark Cushway and Kwang Boon Sim, is Vacation Finance Ltd, (link to Company House Register below).

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/09726642/officers

This company is linked to the Finance Agreements brokered by Silverpoint for the sales of the “investment packs” and the “company participations”. They are also linked in these finance packages with HMC Finance, and all loans went through with Barclays Partner Finance.

Now considering the length of time Diana has worked in this particular industry and given all the links that she has, it does make you wonder how she could not have known that what was going on was a fraud of epic scale, surely she must have had her suspicions?

We ask this question for one simple reason, the legal battles in the courts over the sales made by Silverpoint and formerly Resort Properties, have been going on for around 12 years. It may be longer, but it has been well known that a possible fraud was being committed and this is being borne out now in the courts.

What actually started this quick research into Diana Aitchison was information received by Inside Timeshare of her involvement with a charity, of which she has been a director since 2014.

Our informant was rather disturbed that she was involved, especially as a director given her links to one of the most investigated frauds in timeshare history, it was also the fact that a person with a link to HMC Finance was taking part in an event for the charity and is personally known to Diana.

It obviously made us think, surely with her involvement in companies which are being criminally investigated, an investigation which has taken on an international hue, her position as a director of a charity is untenable?

We leave you the reader to decide, but we know what our answer will be!

The story of Silverpoint is going to be with us for some time, as the results of the investigations become public, we are bound to find some very interesting twists to the plot. It might take a long time, but the truth will become known.

To end today’s article, we have just received information of another name of a genuine law firm that appears to have been used by our friends The Litigious Abogados Family. Further information on this will be published once the facts are established. WATCH THIS SPACE!

Translations

Danish

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Dutch

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Finnish

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German

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Norwegian

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Swedish

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End the Week: The Fake Law Firm Usurping Anothers Good Name

Yesterday we published a warning about our old friends from Tenerife, The Litigious Abogados Family, who as you know have been operating under various names for around 5 years. This is one very clever and sophisticated fraud, the use of very official and genuine-looking documents, including court documents has been a feature of this operation. But the most outstanding part of the whole deception is their use of photographs taken from the internet of genuine people, giving them new names and passing them off as their “lawyers”. Today we revisit some of the most notable that have been used and also an update on our information.

This new incarnation of yet another addition to The Litigious Abogados Family is probably the most audacious yet, it is not just the use of genuine lawyers and using their identities, it is the use of the law firm’s name and website as well.

In all other incarnations, they have operated their own websites, all looked alike and it was not difficult to see the links between the different operations. The only differences between them were the dates of incorporation, the company name, company CIF Number and the names of the lawyers. Often the same pictures of “their lawyers” would be used on several websites with new ones added occasionally.

This time they are using a genuine law firm’s website and name as their own, it is not until you start to look at the letter that you find their email addresses do not match those of the genuine law firm. They are using  [email protected] and [email protected] when the genuine email is [email protected] which is linked to their website:

https://adargaabogados.es/

Another clue is the telephone number, in their letter they give a freephone number (UK) 0800 066 4918 yet the website gives only a Madrid number, 915 663 954. If they were using a UK freephone number for UK clients don’t you think that would be shown?

Adarga Abogados is a genuine law firm whose name and website has been “stolen”, even down to the fraudsters using their logo on their fake letterhead. They also name all the lawyers and their registration numbers as they appear on the genuine website, something we have not seen before.

According to this letter, supposedly signed by one of the genuine lawyers Juan Fernández, they explain their lawyers are “legally authorised to operate in any court of law in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta”. It then goes on to say that they are currently involved in a Class Action for Punitive Damages against MacDonald Resorts S.L. and Anfi Group S.L.

Now, this is where it gets very interesting, they claim they lodged the case with the court on Tuesday 21 September, giving a BOE Reference number BOE-S-2021-226, just to make it look more official.

Breaking all records, the case is now set to be heard at the Arona Court Number 3 on 21 October 2021 at 12:20. Wow, only one month from lodging the case to it being heard, that really does set a record for any court, let alone one in Spain.

We know from experience when the case is lodged with the court, it could take around three months just for the case to be accepted and then a pre-trial date will be set. It may be anything from 6 months to 18 months later that the case goes before a judge for a full hearing.

The next point which shows this is a total fraud, we have stopped using the word scam as that is not strong enough, are the names of the two companies supposedly being tried. MacDonald Resorts S.L. and Anfi Group S.L. are not correct.

First, there has never been a company called MacDonald Resorts S.L registered in Spain, MacDonalds is Scottish based and although they did have a Spanish registered company this was in fact called Macdonald Resorts Spain SA. Not much of a difference I hear you say, but that in a court of law is a very big difference.

We also know that there are many Anfi companies, the main two involved in timeshare litigation are Anfi Sales S.L. and Anfi Resorts S.L. and not Anfi Group SL. In fact, there is no such company as Anfi Group SL, it is a term to denote all the companies that operate and are a part of Anfi.

Moving on to the court document, which is identical to all the previous ones Inside Timeshare has received over the years, to the untrained eye, it certainly looks genuine and would most definitely convince anyone who has never come across the genuine item.

There are many differences which we have spotted, First, it does not give the names of the defendant’s lawyers or procurador, it shows the BOE Number, which we have never seen on any other court document. Then we have the “stamps and logos” along with the “signature” of the judge. When examined closely, you can see these are cut and pasted, in fact, the stamp at the bottom is one they have used since the start and Inside Timeshare downloaded a blank from google images making our own in one of the first articles.

But the most important piece of information is this, the “clients” did not even know they had been filed in a case in Spain, they had not instructed a Spanish lawyer or law firm to act on their behalf, nor had they signed a power of attorney either in the UK or in Spain authorising the said lawyers to act on their behalf.

Now we move to the payment they require, in order to “proceed with the claim” which amounts to 17,934€, a “refundable” Procurator fee of 1,287€ is required. This has to be paid to the Procurador José Motoz Vazques, to Evo Banco with the IBAN ES30 0239 0806 7526 6701 5925. It is paid to the individual named.

Considering the identification required to open a bank account, we can only surmise that this is a false name and using false I.D. After all, using your own name and identification will soon lead to jail!

Back in May 2019, we published a list of all those companies identified as being part of the same fraud, it numbered 87, we actually stopped counting after that. (See link below).

https://insidetimeshare.com/litigious-abogados-family-new-names-added/

Along with this, we identified many of the photographs that were used and the results were very surprising.

One of the first was the founder of Armando Gareca Abogados which we highlighted back in June 2017, the photograph shows one of their “lawyers” Agustin Bigote Pringata, who is in fact the Azerbaijan Ambassador to Argentina; Rashad Aslanov. Below is the picture used on the website the next is of the Ambassador handing his credential to the Argentinian President.

armando-gareca-abogados-agustin-bigote-pringata
Argentina President

https://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/politics/2735370.html

The next prominent person to be used was Rafael Caldera, the 39th President of Venezuela who passed away in 2009. He was portrayed as the founder of SG Abogados Raul Degelis Grinudos.

https://www.wikizero.com/en/Presidents_of_Venezuela

A third prominent person which appeared was Fernando Olawza Garcia of Torcaz Abogados, then as Fernando Nialkgan Torkas of Paloma Abogados and finally as Amador Dularta Colatamo of Abogados El Paloma. He is in fact Judge Dana Makoto Sabraw, for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.


Fernando Nialgan Torkas of Paloma Abogados
or is it
Fernando Olawza Garcia of Torcaz Abogados

The genuine person
Judge Dana Makoto Sabraw, for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California

There then followed a double whammy with Abogados Las Alas, the founder of this “firm” was named as Alberto Canbamo Farola, the photograph of him shows a rather distinguished gentleman, but he is not genuine. His real name is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, he is, in fact, the current President of Mexico, he assumed office on 1 December 2018, so is well into his term as President.

Along with the Mexican President, they also showed one of their senior lawyers, Antonio Lamamel Cunio, he is, in fact, Carlos Torres Vila, he just happens to be President of the Spanish banking group BBVA.


Carlos Torres Vila BBVA President

On the home page Las Alas Abogados also shows a group photograph, this was taken during a meeting of the BBVA Group in Mexico, when it was announced that the BBVA was investing substantial sums in Mexico.


Las Alas Abogados Website photo

Original photo from BBVA website

Once again, this does show how careful timeshare owners must be when being contacted with the wonderful news of “compensation”, especially for a court case that you had no idea you were involved in or even instigated. It reinforces the point of doing your due diligence, in other words, “DO YOUR HOMEWORK!”

If you are not sure how to do these checks and are suspicious of any call or email received, then contact Inside Timeshare with the details and we will help you research them.

There are many contracts that were sold in Spain after January 1999 which are illegal, therefore they can be declared null & void with the return of the full purchase price. If you would like to know if your contract falls into this category and that you do indeed have a valid and viable case, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Have a great weekend and beware of the “cold calling” fraudsters such as these.

Court News and Another Twist to the Litigious Abogados Family

Welcome to a rather short Thursday article. First, we have a look at news from the courts of two cases. Both companies are very familiar to our pages, Anfi and Silverpoint. We also report on the first information regarding our old friends in Tenerife, The Litigious Abogados Family, who appear to have resurfaced, this time using the name of a genuine law firm.

Our first court report is from the High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas and once again involves Anfi.

This case was originally heard at the Court of First Instance of SBT, where the contract was declared null & void with Anfi being ordered to repay the client 22,574€ plus legal interest and legal fees.

As we have come to expect from Anfi, they once again decided it would be a “great laugh” to delay everything and lodge an appeal with the High Court. Another waste of the clients, lawyers and courts time, not to forget the legal bill for their own lawyers.

The Judges at the High Court, following all other cases and the rulings of the Supreme Court, roundly dismissed and rejected their appeal. The original sentence was confirmed and is now being filed with the Mercantile Court and the Court Appointed Administrator for the payment of the awarded funds.

In Tenerife, the Judge of the Mercantile Court Number 1, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, after examining the contracts has declared them null & void, plus awarding the client 147,420€.

As Silverpoint is now under the Mercantile Court and a Court Appointed Administrator, the client’s lawyers will now file this claim with the Mercantile Court for payment along with all the other claims against Silverpoint which have been found in favour of the clients.

One thing that is similar to both cases is that both companies used the same techniques to avoid payments, both moved money from their accounts to others so when an embargo is placed, nothing is in the accounts for the court to take. Both are being investigated by the authorities for the illegal movement of funds.

In both cases, the clients were represented by lawyers of Canarian Legal Alliance.

Along with our friends at the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association), we are investigating another use of a genuine law firm by scammers.

So far from the documentation we have received, it appears this is yet another incarnation from our old friends The Litigious Abogados Family, with a new “Procuradores” or “Procurator”, this one is called José Vazques.

It is to this person that the “victim/client” has to pay, the account is in the name of José Motoz Vazquez, the bank is Evo Banco and the IBAN ES30 0239 0806 7526 6701 5925. Any payment being made to a named individual is always a bad sign.

In the letter sent to the “client”, it is purportedly from a law firm in Madrid called Adarga Abogados, along with all the names and bar association numbers of their lawyers.

The website for the law firm which does appear on the letter is

https://adargaabogados.es/

but, the email addresses on the letter are:

[email protected] 

[email protected]

These are free email providers such as Hotmail or Gmail, the email address for the genuine law firm is linked to their website.

Inside Timeshare and the TCA are in contact with the genuine law firm with the TCA already having established they have nothing to do with the letter or with any timeshare related claims.

We have seen these people use pictures of genuine people with fictitious names in the past, the most notable of them is the use of the late 39th President of Venezuela and the Ambassador to Argentina. But now they are using a genuine law firms name and their website!

Our inquiries are ongoing and we will have a full report once all the information has been received. In the meantime, if you receive a call, text or email using the name Adarga Abogados, please let us know.

Once again this reinforces the point that you should not accept as genuine any call or correspondence you receive, without first doing your own due diligence. If you are not sure how to go about this, please contact Inside Timeshare and we will help you determine if they are genuine or not.

Do you have a timeshare you purchased in Spain, is your contract legal under Spanish Law, if you would like further information on this and your legal rights and options, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.