On November 30, 2012 we entered into a legal contract with EXCLUSIVE EVENT SERVICES (EES) to sell our timeshare in Mexico. This contract was drawn up by Luis Donovan, the EES agent that we dealt with mostly throughout this experience, signed by us and by David Baker, Executive Director of EES and George Weslay, Finance Director of EES. A Transfer Form was also signed and notarized by our lawyer on December 11, 2012, the original of which is still in our possession as it was to be sent to EES upon closing of the deal. (ESS received an email copy on Dec. 11) Subsequently we received documentation showing receipt of funds from the buyer into an escrow account. Then we were informed that SAT taxes were required to be paid by residents abroad prior to receiving funds from the buyer to ensure that taxes were paid to the Mexican government. After much questioning on our part and receiving assurances in writing that EES guarantees and takes full legal responsibility for the full completion of this transaction in a timely manner, we accepted the condition of the sales process and wired state
and federal taxes to a bank (BBVA-BANCOMER-MEXICO) in Mexico. We received receipts from Servico de Administracion Tributaria (SAT) with an illegible signature in the box that says Firma del contribuyante o representante legal. We also have documentation from EES, again signed by David Baker and George Weslay, guaranteeing that the state tax and the federal tax amount incurred during the transaction of the sales process will be reimbursed (to us) to coincide with the final funding. Our main contact with EES, Luis Donovan, explained to us on several occasions that these unexpected upfront payments were the result of a recent (December, 2012, we believe) change in the Mexican government which has caused economic chaos and new regulations regarding taxes for the sale of property in Mexico by non-residents. We were told that EES had worked hard to have these surprise charges reimbursed once the sale was complete.
Then in early January, 2013 we were informed that the Mexican Federal Government has imposed an Escrow Fee and that Luis Donovan and David Baker had been in Dallas and Mexico in negotiations trying to make sure this tax is also 100% reimbursable to our clients. Since we had already paid the Mexican state and federal taxes (which sounded plausible) which would be lost if we walked away at that point and since we were provided with yet another signed document stating that this Escrow Fee and Escrow State fee will be the only and last pending fee for you to pay and guaranteeing that EES takes full responsibility for the full completion of this transaction within 8 hrs (of payment of the escrow fee), we decided we had no choice but to pay this escrow fee. Luis Donovan also provided us with the name and phone number of another client whose similar sale had closed and who had already received his money for the sale proceeds and the reimbursement of the taxes and escrow fee he paid upfront. When we called this person, he was not home but his wife confirmed all this had indeed happened and that they were happy with the outcome, despite the many concerns and reservations they had throughout the process.
We paid the escrow fee on February 7, 2013 at about 2:30 pm EST. Shortly after our return home from the bank, we received a phone call from Luis Donovan to see if we had been able to make the payment that day. He said he would call us back to confirm receipt of our payment at the bank (SCOTIABANK INVERLAT) in Mexico. We have not heard from him since. We have phoned many times our calls were never answered directly. We left voicemail messages each time requesting a call back from Luis Donovan or David Baker a.s.a.p. We also emailed all the people at EES we have had contact with during the process to no avail. We have heard from no one at EES since speaking with Luis Donovan in the late afternoon of February 7.
During the week following Feb. 7, 2013, we have gradually accepted the fact that we have been scammed. We sent our last communication to EES (to all names and emails we have) stating our intention to take action in as many ways as we can. Of course we would like to get our upfront money back, but most of all we would like to expose the company EES and its people (Luis Donovan, David Baker, George Weslay, Mark Wells, Sam Bagley) for what we believe they really are con-artists and perpetrators of fraud.