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Torcaz Abogados

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.

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we ended last week with some of the latest news from the courts and also the emergence of a new member to the Litigious Abogados Family, Las Alas Abogados. The TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) also published their own warning on this new “fake” law firm along with some extra information. We also had a look at the Radio 4 program You and Yours, which featured a spokesperson from the TCA talking about the greed of timeshare resorts demanding maintenance from members even though they are unable to use their timeshare. Today we highlight new information from readers being contacted by these dubious companies and also the news of yet another Anfi appeal being dismissed.

Another of our readers has been contacted by Caroline Merrick, supposedly from Jurados Orebandel, which we know is the “fake” notary used by Torcaz Abogados and CUC Abogados. In this email, Caroline requires a payment in order to retrieve papers held by Solutions and Flanagans Notary, which is also a fake notary supposedly in the UK. (See links below).

The payment is also required for Caroline Merrick to pay our reader the money from their Royal Gardens timeshare that went missing. Obviously, this is the part of the scam where a cheque was sent by post but the envelope was open and the cheque missing. It was probably stolen by that infamous gang of East Europeans and cashed. They were also helped by post office workers with 16 of them being arrested, well that has been the story so far.

So it would appear that the older incarnations are still operating and have moved along with the next phases of their scam.

https://insidetimeshare.com/cuc-abogadso-latest-update-a-stark-warning/

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-playing-catchup/

Inside Timeshare is still receiving many emails from our readers who have also been contacted by JSD Group with regards to making claims against the companies that installed solar panels. Luckily as these readers were made aware of this company cold calling about timeshare claims, they have obviously declined their services.

Surely JSD Group would have realised by now that calling the same people they tried to scam over timeshare claims is not going to give them any business with solar panel claims!

We have also received several emails from readers about another firm we highlighted some time ago, O-YOO. One of our readers paid them over £3000 to get them out of their Club la Costa and also to reclaim their purchase price. 

Unfortunately, according to O-YOO six months later their case was rejected as Club la Costa was having financial difficulties, whatever that means!

Needless to say, trying to access their website today it looks like they have gone, well the website’s registration was due to expire back in July, so have they gone only to reappear under a new name in the future.

Late on Friday afternoon the latest news from the High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, GC, have once again rejected an appeal made by Anfi against the judgement of the Court of First Instance.

The High Court has confirmed the original sentence which declared the contract null and void with the return of over 51,000€ plus legal interest. This amount also included the repayment in double of the illegally taken deposits within the statutory cooling-off period.

The case was brought on behalf of the German client by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Eva Gutierez with Claims Consultant Jasmin Erhard assisting the client through the process.

Tomorrow we hope to have some news on the case of Mrs B and MacDonald Resorts and it should be rather interesting.

If you have been contacted by any company that is offering an “exit & claims” solution to your timeshare woes and you are not sure if they are genuine, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

REMEMBER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE ENGAGING WITH ANY COMPANY.

Las Alas Abogados: The Latest Name for the Litigious Abogados Family

Here we go again, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the “family” of “FAKE” law firms which we have named as the Litigious Abogados Family came up with another new name, Las Alas Abogados. Once again they have excelled themselves with their choice of photographs of their founder and one of their lawyers, you will be very surprised when we reveal who they really are. It also appears that their “Modus Operandi” is going to be the same as for all the other incarnations, but as usual, Inside Timeshare along with the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) have already got a bead on them.

Las Alas Abogados according to their website was founded on Tuesday 22nd November 1994, by Alberto Canbamo Farola, with the Company Registration A29388115, which as with all the company registration numbers is a fake.

The website

https://las-alas-abogados.com/

Was registered only on the 1 September 2020 and is as usual only registered for 1 year, so it will expire on 1 September 2021, not very inspiring, a law firm formed in 1994 yet has only just got themselves a website and only registered for 1 year!

The actual registrant is also again hidden, so there is no way of knowing who is actually behind it. Surely the companies that register these websites also hold some responsibility in allowing them to be registered. The question is and we think we know the answer, is why do they allow these scam operators to register their websites through them? The answer is pure and simple greed.

The website itself is the same as all the other previous websites which we have highlighted over the past few years. The only difference is the photographs of their lawyers and secretaries, along with their names and dates the firm was formed.

The address they give is Número 5 Calle Emilio Calzadilla 38002 Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

They use the email address:

[email protected]

Which is a free email address provider

Telephone Number: 0034 822 860 322

We now move on to the lawyers, as we have already stated the founder is 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.

Another photo of one of their lawyers is 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

The other lawyers are:

Francisco Galbasa Acatanor

Manuel Yermo Dorselan

Ricardo Luncmande

This last name is a variation on several used in the previous incarnations such as Abogados El Palomo and Torcaz Abogados where he is named as Ricardo Olunkman or is it Ricardo Lunkmant or Ricardo Lunkmand. Whichever one it is it is certainly a fake name.

They also have photographs of two new secretaries, Jessica Conito Estretsho and Maria Corrioh Emiboca.

So far we have only managed to identify two of the pictures, the others have eluded us, but that does not mean we will stop trying to identify them and to inform the genuine people that their images are being used for criminal purposes.

As for the scam, well, we know how they operate, it is a long drawn out scam, with rather small amounts being requested at first to get the case registered. Once the “victim” has been snared with this fee, the scam proper begins. There will be demands for “court or hacienda taxes” to be paid, then taxes to release the money and also for the “procurator” to work on your behalf.

Then comes the main part of the scam, you will be shown a copy of the cheque, supposedly issued by the court, next, you will receive an envelope in the post with a letter from the court and the cheque. Unfortunately, the cheque is missing, step in the new company who is investigating the missing cheque. Apparently, it was stolen and cashed by a gang of East Europeans. To add credibility to this story, the “victim” will be informed that around 16 post office workers have been arrested for aiding and abetting the stealing of the cheques.

To get this back, the new company needs a payment of around 10 to 20% of the cheque amount, although you will be promised that this will be refunded.

But the start of the scam is always “your timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be part of the case”. Then the following email arrives to tell you that the case is concluded and the court has awarded you thousands of euros in compensation.

Dear Mr & Mrs XXXXXXXXXXX

We are glad to inform you that we have this morning received, from the Courts, a certified copy of your cheque in the amount of 32,000 Euros. A copy of which has been attached.

The compensation was meant to be remitted by International bank transfer, but due to the numerous cases they had at the Santa Cruz Court, they issued the payment in cheque form. This only means losing a few pounds when you deposit the Euro cheque in a Sterling account, but after all, we are very pleased that this has all come to a successful conclusion.

The Court Judgment for your compensation and the relevant tax documents have also been received on the 21st October and posted to you on Thursday the 22nd of October and we trust those should be with you soon.

Once the tax element has been met, our Lawyers shall finalise the tax logistics in order for the courts to release your compensation cheque and it will be posted to your address and should arrive to you in 5-8 working days, from the day it has been posted.

Assuring you of our best attention at all times, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement thus far and send you our best regards.

Kindly confirm the safe receipt of this Email. 

Yours sincerely,

Maria Corrioh Emiboca

Departamento Legal.

This email is confidential and intended for the named recipient only. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately and delete the email. You must not copy, distribute, disclose or take any action in reliance on it. This email message and any attached files have been scanned for the presence of any computer viruses.

© 2013 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Tenerife. Todos los derechos reservados.

European Union Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC

Apparently, due to the number of cases, the money could not be transferred using international transfers, so a cheque has been issued, hang on they have always issued cheques from day one of their scams. It is required to get more money, after all a bank transfer is not likely to be stolen by a gang of East Europeans, with postal workers being arrested, where would the credibility be then?

So there we have it, the latest in the incarnations of Litigious Abogados Family, Las Alas Abogados, same Modus Operandi, same websites and the very same illegal use of other people’s images.

If you still believe that what they are telling you is the truth, then, to be honest, you deserve to lose your money, it is not rocket science to tell this is a scam, it is also important to do your homework before engaging with “scam” companies like this. They are professional in what they do, they know how to part you from your hard-earned cash.

Previous articles on the Litigious Abogados Family.

https://insidetimeshare.com/?s=litigious+abogados