Browse Tag

Lyng

Anfi: More Serious Problems Emerge

Over the past few years, Anfi has been in the news for many reasons, the main ones are the number of cases they have been losing in the courts and the Tauro Beach Project. The project at Tauro beach has also recently been in the news with the former head of the Coastal Authority being sentenced to 3 years in jail. He was found guilty of falsifying documents giving permission for Anfi to carry out the work in establishing a man-made beach months before the permissions were signed. The Canarian Government is in the process of revoking the permissions and licenses allowing Anfi to develop Tauro Beach, this will be a devastating blow to their finances. As for the court cases, there seems to be no sign that these will be ending anytime soon.

Tauro Beach Project, man-made beach, new hotels and commercial centre planned.

All this must be having some effect on the Anfi cash flow, we know they are employing delaying tactics in paying clients what the courts have ordered. It is believed that in many cases it is transferring funds from one account to another, rather like Silverpoint. We also know the Canarian Government is in the process of revoking the permissions and licenses allowing Anfi to develop Tauro Beach, this will also be a devastating blow to their finances. 

Is this an attempt to hide the money and not pay what they are legally obliged to pay claiming cash flow problems?

Or are they actually running out of money?

Where does this leave IFA as 50% shareholders, as they have no control over the board or the company?

Are IFA aware of what Anfi are doing?

The courts are taking a very dim view of Anfi tactics, they have already seen through them, a very good case in point is the one regarding a Norwegian client of Canarian Legal Alliance, Mr Hoyer. Due to the delays and arguments by Anfi on his case, he was awarded 100,000€ above the 31,000€ he originally paid giving him 131,000€. This was the court’s way of punishing Anfi for basically wasting the courts time.


Mr Hoyer one happy Norwegian client

Highlight and right click on link below for the full report

This was a very expensive case for Anfi, yet, they are still attempting to do the same thing with every case that goes before the courts. Obviously, the courts are not too pleased with this and investigations have been ordered by the Fiscal (State Prosecutor) into Anfi funds and bank accounts.

This is not the first time we have reported on “missing funds” we know that between 2012 and 2013 8 Million Euros had been diverted which was noticed by the Lyng family, then only last year in November we reported on a lawsuit between the Cazorla Brothers for unfair administration of funds, to the value of 718,000€ the  result of the case has still yet to be issued. (see links below).

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-great-anfi-battle-of-the-partners-round-2/

https://insidetimeshare.com/la-provincia-anfi-director-declares-lawsuit-between-cazorla-brothers/

The delaying tactics Anfi are employing are constant appeals to the High Court and lodging appeals with the Supreme Court, this is due only to a lack of liquidity or cash flow even taking into account the fines and interest they will accrue. It is also very frustrating to the clients with cases already won in the Courts of First Instance, it is also being used as a ploy by Anfi to put people off taking legal action.

Another method which Anfi are employing to ward off future lawsuits from disgruntled members is the attempt to change contracts, they have so far tried twice to convince members to change, but this has resulted in a very poor response. What we do know is that with all the legal problems members are very concerned with the future of Anfi.

https://www.finanzen.net/aktien/ifa_hoteltouristik-aktie

We now look at IFA as 50% shareholders, they do not have the “golden share” so they have no control over the board or the company,  we know that IFA has set aside millions for a full takeover of Anfi, but are they actually aware of what is going on. It is more than likely that Anfi has not even disclosed this matter with IFA. IFA is a public company and is therefore responsible to have this disclosed to its shareholders, the question is if they are aware, have their shareholders been notified?

Inside Timeshare has spoken to an IFA shareholder and in the last quarterly report, there was no mention of the possible millions in losses. So it would seem that IFA shareholders are also being kept in the dark.

IFA Faro, Maspalomas

Are the IFA shareholders aware that there are around 50 million euros in claims pending against Anfi?

How is this going to affect IFA if they do eventually take full control, will they continue in the same way or will they settle the claims in the quickest way possible?

All we know at the moment is Anfi are moving funds around the different bank accounts, to us it looks like what is happening with Silverpoint, using the transfer of funds to other parts of the company to hide the money and eventually seek liquidation due to “cash flow” problems.

Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers, answers that Inside Timeshare will be looking for and publishing on these pages.

If you have purchased any Anfi product and want to know if your contract contravenes Spanish timeshare law giving you a valid case and you would like to secure your “investment”, then use our contact page. Inside Timeshare will help you find out your legal position and point you in the right direction.

The Great Anfi Battle of the Partners Round 2

Back in March 2016, Inside Timeshare published the article The Great Anfi Battle of the Partners, this highlighted the long running arguments between the Lyng family and Santana Cazorla, the 50% partner in Anfi, who also controls the Board.

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

It centered mainly around the disappearance 8 million Euros between 2012 and 2013, the diversion of these funds was apparently noticed  by the Lyng’s while a lawsuit was pending between Cazorla and Lopesan. This lawsuit revolved around a 14 million Euro debt, which Lopesan claimed was owed to them by Cazorla as they had bought the debt from the Cardenas family. This debt it is claimed was for the land which Cazorla purchased from Cardenas for the golf course and complex at Anfi Tauro.

Well the story has not ended there, round 2 is up and running.

Just recently the Spanish press has been running several stories on the continuing battle between Cazorla and Lopesan, it also involves the new head of the Costas, Rafael López Orive, who is facing charges of “Prevarication”. (For the full story on this click the link below).

https://www.elconfidencial.com/empresas/2018-07-22/anfi-canarias-direccion-general-costas-juez-investiga_1595609/

http://espiral21.com/santana-cazorla-demanda-a-ifa-por-fraude-en-la-compra-de-anfi/

In another twist in this long running dispute between the two major players in the tourist sector in Gran Canaria, Santana Cazorla has issued a lawsuit filed in June 2018 at the Mercantile Court in Las Palmas, involves Bankia, the public bank of the Spanish State and 6 million euros.

http://espiral21.com/bankia-rebajo-6-millones-a-lopesan-la-compra-de-creditos-de-anfi/

Apparently it looks like Bankia lowered the price for the purchase of credits from Anfi del Mar by Lopesan by 6 million euros and according to the lawsuit Cazorla states:

“Lopesan ha estado comprando créditos existentes contra las sociedades de Anfi y contra las empresas del grupo Santana Cazorla a diversas entidades bancarias”.

“Lopesan has been buying existing credits against the companies of Anfi and against the companies of the Santana Cazorla group to various banking entities.”

The situation between the factions is complicated and we will no doubt be seeing many more lawsuits and counter lawsuits being filed, this now begs the question, what does this actually mean for those members of Anfi?

When IFA Lopesan purchased their 50% share, it left many wondering where Anfi would be heading, would Lopesan if they do take full control turn Anfi into a hotel and do away with the timeshare model?

Looking at the history of Anfi and comments from members, since the Cazorla’s purchased their 50% share and took control of the board, Anfi has been seeing a slow decline in standards, a series of scandals and lawsuits, with the latest being the Tauro Beach Project. It must also be remembered that Anfi are also losing heavily in the courts for the past mis-selling of their timeshares.

What the future has in store for this once great resort, no one really knows, what we can say however is that it is going to be at a cost of millions of euros in legal bills, something the Anfi members should be very much aware of, yet we believe that they will as usual be kept in the dark and fed whatever “spin” Anfi can put on it.

https://www.abc.es/espana/canarias/abci-sandwich-holandes-lopesan-incordia-santana-cazorla-anfi-mar-201806210739_noticia.html

If you have any questions or comments on this article or even want to know if you have a valid claim to retrieve your purchase price and have your contract declared null and void, then use our contact page. Inside Timeshare will get back to you and endeavour to answer your questions and concerns with facts.

Tomorrow Friday’s Letter from America asks what the future holds for Americano Beach Resort after the hurricanes Matthew and Irma, this is from another new contributor Meryl Stefan, with the introduction by Irene Parker.

So join us for our last article of the week for more news and information on the world that is timeshare.

 

Lawyer Sentenced to 4 Years for Financial Fraud

Do not pass go, do not collect 200€, go directly to Jail!

A lawyer from Gran Canaria, Juan Arencibia Rodriguez, has been sentenced to four years jail and fined 1.7 million Euros, in the Criminal Court Number 6 of Las Palmas, the presiding judge was Judge Ivana Aisa Muiños. He has also been ordered to compensate the Tax Agency 865,000€.

The case centers round tax fraud, and the non declaration of earnings which were paid into a Swiss bank account. The case came to light after his name appeared on a list of tax fraudsters which was delivered to the Spanish Treasury by Hervé Falciani who was the operator of the Swiss branch in Geneva of HSBC Private Bank Suisse.

Arencibia is a well known lawyer and tax advisor, he is a former director of the auditing firm Ernst & Young and is a current partner of the law firm Aramburu & Montero. He is also the former a board member of Anfi for the Lyng family.

Another aspect is he is also head of the law firm which handles all of Silverpoints legal matters, including the ongoing legal cases regarding timeshare.

So it does make you wonder now, how Silverpoint has got away with the sale of “investment packs” for so long, as well as all the other infringements could it be that this lawyer massaged the evidence for them?

It also leaves many other unanswered questions such as how much of the “new” rebranding and splitting up into various companies is down to his advice?

At Inside Timeshare nothing now ever surprises us in that murky world called timeshare.

Follow the links below to see 2 of the article is prominent Spanish press:

https://www.canarias7.es/sociedad/tribunales/condena-de-4-anos-a-juan-arencibia-por-delito-fiscal-MF3564097

http://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/Condenado-grancanario-Juan-Arencibia-Suiza_0_740176922.html

karma

If you require any information about this or any other article published or just want to know the validity of any company regarding timeshare, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

 

Twenty Five Supreme Court Rulings and Rising.

Last week ended with another ruling from the Supreme Court, this week has seen yet another, bringing the total to 25. This is unprecedented in the Spanish Legal system, the latest is once again against Anfi, bringing the total against this one timeshare operator to 20 rulings in favour of the purchasers of their product.

 

The latest victory for the clients of Canarian Legal Alliance have had their contract declared “null & void”, with Anfi being ordered to repay 29,544€ including legal fees and interest.

CLA Logo

Then at the High Court number 2 of Las Palmas, another CLA client will receive back over 25,460€ including interest and legal fees. In this instance the court made its decision on the basis of the Supreme Court rulings declaring that “floating” weeks are illegal. This is yet another bow for the resort Anfi.

 

These cases and the previous ones have been highlighted in 2 Spanish newspapers, El Diario and Maspalomas Ahora. They explain that since the start of this year, Anfi have had to repay 1.5 million euros to purchaser of their products, with 1 million having been paid out so far. This is for just 50 cases brought this year and that figure is estimated to be around the 8 million euro mark with the 200 active cases CLA have in the courts. With 300 claims waiting to be filed this sum will be around 20 million Euros

So far Canarian Legal Alliance has won around 120 cases against Anfi, with many more against other timeshare operators. So the question must again be asked why do Anfi the RDO and other companies still maintain that the decisions by the judges at the Supreme Court are in error?

 

Anfi themselves are still trying to deceive their own members by telling them that there are no cases against them, that they have not lost and that the buyout of the 50% Lyng share by Lopesan has not happened. Not only do they deny selling illegal products and peddling lies to their customers, but they are also insinuating that the news media are also telling lies. It is unfortunate that some owners are actually believing this, not realising it is a continuation of the misinformation they received when purchasing originally.

 

Along with all the investigations into the Tauro Beach project, which has taken another twist, with the Mayor of Mogan now under investigation for granting a licence which had apparently expired, (new article on this coming soon), these court rulings are certainly eating into the reputation of Anfi.

 

http://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/Anfi-condenas-Supremo-contratos-timesharing_0_566594345.html

 

http://maspalomasahora.com/not/38882/el-grupo-anfi-acumula-en-2016-condenas-por-valor-de-1-5-millones-de-euros-por-irregularidades-en-el-timesharing-/

 

Once again it is congratulations to the clients and the whole CLA team for these results, the champagne corks will certainly be pooping. If you require any information about this or any other article, contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help.

More from across the Pond: Information from the NTOA.

Gregory Crist the CEO of the NTOA (National Timeshare Owners Association), will be making a presentation at the TBMA (Timeshare Board Members Association) in Tucson AZ, on 16 to 18 October.

tbma

The presentation will be about Combating Fraud in the Changing Timeshare Environment, this is an area which affects timeshare owners worldwide, from dubious resale companies to false claims and law firms. In the USA there is a very severe problem of as he puts it “bad actors” who are taking advantage of owners and severely damaging the reputation of the entire secondary market (resale).

 

He states that these fraudulent companies who operate what is commonly called the “Viking Ship” programme, cause considerable harm to owners and resort associations alike. Regulators have been attempting to close down fraudulent transfer and resale companies who use unfair and deceptive trade practises, but Greg believes there is a great need for owner education and consumer protection.

tbma-1

 

 

 

On another matter, Greg also informed Inside Timeshare of a Senator who managed to block a bill which would have restricted owners access to HOA (Home Owners Association) rosters. These are the list of all members who own timeshare and are members of the association.

 

The bill would have made it impossible for the HOA to be able to communicate with other members, which would have had a considerable effect on informing them of board policies and HOA issues.

 

The bill was sponsored by ARDA (American Resort Development Association), and was a means of protecting owner confidentiality. In other words stopping a legitimate use of these lists thereby controlling any form of owners coming together for the common good.

 

According to ARDA this bill was to protect owners from predatory rogue transfer and resale companies. It transpires that ARDA did not even show any evidence that these rosters had ever been sold or misused.

arda

Again this is a blatant abuse by the industry to prevent any dissemination of information which would be of use to owners. This is not just a problem in the US, we also have the same problem in Europe, whereby information is hidden or denied. Only recently we have found that one resort, Anfi, is contacting owners and denying any buyout of the Lyng family shares by IFA Lopesan and also denying any legal action being taken against them. All this even though it has been widely circulated in the European press. (Search Anfi for previous posts).

 

For the full articles see the PDF below.

more-from-greg-crist-at-the-ntoa

Once again a very big thank you to Greg and Irene for all the information they pass on, it is through collaboration that we all can find out what is going on. Without this we will be kept in the dark, it also helps to see what “scams” and other “schemes” may just be lying in wait, after all what happens here may happen there next year and vise versa.

Gran Canaria Info: Explains Recent Developments at Anfi.

The local online news and information magazine Gran Canaria Info, has been following many of the events over the past year in regards to the ongoing story at Anfi.

 

In its latest article it explains very simply what has happened so far this year. The first part of the article explains the selling of the Lyng family´s 50% share of Anfi to IFA Lopesan. This is a well known hotel group in the south if the island, having major luxury hotels in Meloneras.

lopesan-costa-meloneras

The question they posed is what does this mean for Anfi owners?

 

Lopesan has stated that they so far have no major plans for any changes at Anfi, or how it is run. Owners would not notice any changes, Lopesan maintained they are committed to the timeshare model which is Anfi´s main business. They also stated they plan to continue with the Tauro development project in it’s current form.

 

It is expected that Lopesan with its extensive funds should actually make Anfi better for owners, improving the facilities and updating the accommodation.

 

As for the Tauro beach project, it was reported last week that the first prosecution has been filed with the Court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, against the former head of the Canarian Coastal Authority José Maria Hernandez. The charge is one of administrative malfeasance (wrongdoing in public office) and forgery of official documents.

 

At present it is not known what the implications of this case will have on the beach project or the development of the Tauro valley. What is known is Anfi and the new partners Lopesan will have to apply for new permits to continue the development of new hotels and shopping center in the area behind the beach.

tauro2.jpg

The article then goes on to explain in a simple way the laws and how they may affect owners, the changes such as perpetuity contracts, floating and points systems as well as deposits within the cooling off period. It also highlights how Spanish law works, also stating that “no win no fee” is not allowed in Spain and there will be costs involved in taking the case to court.

 

Gran Canaria Info is a valuable resource for expats and those on holiday, it highlights much of the news on the island and is one of the few English language news outlets giving concise and factual information. For the full article click on the link below.

 

http://gran-canaria-info.com/content/timeshare-law/anfi-del-mar-and-the-future-of-gran-canaria-timeshare-in-2017

 

If you require any further information on this article or any other timeshare matter, contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help.

 

Guess Who is in the News Again? More on Anfi

A day does not seem to pass without the beleaguered Anfi being in the news, this time it is Canarian Journalen, an online Norwegian journal in Gran Canaria. Their article outlines the recent sale by the Lyng family of their 50% share in Anfi to IFA Lopesan. (See link at end of article).

canarian-journalen-logo

The price given for this sale is a paltry 41.3 million euro, which pales in comparison to the reported 100 million euro the Cazorla group paid for their 50% stake in 2004. Canarian Journalen hints at the reason behind this low figure, not just the legal battle over contracts which Anfi are losing on an almost daily basis, but also the problems associated with the Tauro Beach project. They hint quite strongly this could be the involvement of the Cazorla Group in corruption accusations and scandals which may also involve “political characters”.

 

Canarian Journalen asked Ragnar Lyng if these problems influenced the decision to sell? In his reply Mr Lyng stated “It is impossible to be passive partner when it is not built on trust, says Ragnar Lyng. When asked for the main reason for the sale Mr Lyng replied, “Disagreement on business philosophy. First and foremost in how a customer should be treated.Satisfied customers will return again and again, taking with them more, and give praise that strengthens your brand. It is also about respect for other people’s fundamental approach”.

anfi logo

 

 

 

 

Just from these few words it can clearly be seen the original concept of his father had been tarnished. Instead of very happy members who wished to return year after year, they became very disgruntled with the way they were treated. This is obviously borne out by the court judgements against Anfi, with even more in the pipeline. On this point many members have stated they were happy with Anfi as a resort, the problem has been in their treatment, continuous upgrading and the lack of availability.

 

One member who has taken action said they were upgraded several times, the last being a floating week at Anfi del Mar, but when trying to book were told no availability. Yet that was the reason given to upgrade, to ensure availability. When this particular member caused a stir with bookings, he was given one of the worst locations at Anfi Beach Club, on the ground floor with all the noise from the bars and the pool to contend with. This particular client was so incensed by this they sought redress through legal action to cancel the contracts.

 

On another note it has just been announced that on 27 September, the Supreme Court made another judgement against Anfi. This was in favour of a Norwegian client of Canarian Legal Alliance. This brings the total Supreme Court Rulings to an amazing 22, with many more in the process of being heard.

CLA Logo

The Norwegian clients have been awarded 27,000 euro, with their contract being declared null & void. Again the Supreme Court ruled on the basis that “Floating Weeks” are illegal. More on this as it is made public. So to the clients and the legal team at CLA, a very big congratulations.

 

It is very clear these stories on legal action, the sale by Lyng to Lopesan and off course the ongoing investigation into the Project at Tauro Beach still have a long way to go. It will certainly keep the newspapers busy, Inside Timeshare will publish any news as and when it comes in, so watch this space!

 

http://www.canariajournalen.no/Nyheter/Lyng-familien-har-solgt-seg-ut-av-timeshare-anlegget-Anfi-del-Mar-paa-Gran-Canaria

 

If you need any information on any article published, or just need information on any company you may be dealing with, contact Inside Timeshare, if we don´t know the answer we will find out for you. Have a good weekend.

My Thoughts Today: End of September

The end of another month is upon us, one story to hit the news this month once again involved the Anfi Group, it was announced the Lyng family had sold their 50% share of Anfi to the construction and hotel group Lopesan IFA. It was reported that Lopesan paid 41.3 million euros, which does seem to be a bit of a bargain. There again, with the woes that Anfi are going through, is it surprising? There is the investigation into irregularities in licences and permissions granted for the Tauro Beach project, which is being conducted by SEPRONA, a branch of the Guardia Civil. Then we have all the Supreme Court rulings which are costing Anfi a fortune in claims. These stories are not over yet and we wait for more to be revealed.

seprona

 

 

 

 

 

 

September has also been very much an American month, with articles by Irene Parker being published. These articles show what is happening across the great lake (or the pond as our American cousins call it), starting with the Letter from America: News From Across the Great Lake. In this article Irene sent an open letter to Stephen J Cloobeck of Diamond, it was her response to his letter to members on the Apollo acquisition.

 

This was then followed by the article on resale and transfer, it included an article from Tom Tubbs, who is on the advisory board of the National Timeshare Owners Association. It highlighted a subject which timeshare owners in Europe have also experienced, that of rogue resale and transfer companies. It also explained how this operates in the US, with a new company called Timeshare Transfer Registry, they keep a check on who and what companies the timeshares are being transferred to. But as he says the “scam” still goes on.

 

In More News From Across the Pond, we published a piece highlighting the Fox News programme The Property Man: Bob Massi. He is a Las Vegas attorney with a reputation as a determined advocate of consumer rights. This was followed by an article with an update to the real estate regulations in the US.

property-man

 

 

 

 

Then there was the visit of Irene Parker and her Husband, Inside Timeshare had the pleasure of playing host to their visit. For Irene it was her first time on the island and was very much a fact finding mission for her future articles. We spent much time comparing notes and learning from each other the problems that many owners have on both side of the Atlantic.

 

During her visit, Irene met the lawyers and staff of Canarian Legal Alliance, which she has followed from the US. While meeting with one of the lawyers Cristina Batista, she was able to get the history of the Supreme Court Rulings and how it is affecting timeshare in Spain. From there she then met with the staff at the admin office who look after the clients. As she said to Inside Timeshare it was an eye opener, stating that on her return she would share what she had learnt with other colleagues battling to help owners.

2016-09-23-15-57-03

It was was not all work, and we all enjoyed several evenings with good food and company. Her last day was a trip to El Faro de Maspalomas, for a little shopping and to see for herself the Lopesan hotels. This ended with a superb lunch at a beach side restaurant. We will be publishing her articles as they appear.

 

Other articles published this month included a warning of a text message to Diamond owners. This informed them of the Supreme Court rulings, but it is not clear where they originate from, the telephone number is an untraceable “burnt” phone, linked to a facebook page with no details.

 

There was also more news from the Supreme Court with an incredible sum being awarded to one UK client. In this judgement the court stated that fractional ownership did indeed come under the timeshare regulations, it awarded £235,542 against Puerto Calma Holiday Club Finland. More announcements followed with a ruling against Palm Oasis Tasolan SL and a ruling against Silverpoint in Tenerife.

 

After an enquiry about the RDO, we published the article The RDO: Does it Protect Consumers? This article laid out what the RDO is and who it actually serves, it is a subject that has been covered in previous articles. But it is always good to republish, especially in the light of recent events.

 

So that is September, we wait with baited breath for the events to unfold during October. With all that is going on it should be an interesting month.

 

If you require any information about any article published, contact Inside Timeshare and we will find you the answer. Have a good October.