Victim Location 61761
Total money lost $14,269
Type of a scam Travel/Vacations
Gold Coast Real Estate, Inc.
1007 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10025
Jenny Roberts (Executive Assistant) Ext. 604
Amy Miller (Broker) Ext. 605 [email protected]
Richard Brown (Sr. Broker) Ext. 604
Richard Bertocci (Managing Partner) Ext. 601 [email protected]
Global Alpha Capital, LLC
172 Front St.
New York, NY 10038
Adam Mendoza 1-212-796-5885 [email protected]
Anthony Franco 1-212-796-5892
Log of Phone Calls, Emails, Transactions:
7/25/2017 – Contacted, unsolicited cold call, (via Cyndi’s cell phone #) by a representative from Gold Coast Real Estate Inc. about our Vacation Travel Club Membership in Cabo San Lucas. Says she is representing a buyer (unnamed) that is looking to purchase a number of memberships in Mexico. Wanted to know if we were interested and would send us an email with details. Wanted details on our membership at Globe Quest Travel Club.
7/26/2017 4:03 p.m. – Received 1st email from Jenny Roberts, Executive Assistant, Gold Coast Real Estate Inc. providing name/phone number of our Broker, Amy Miller. (Email included)
7/27/2017 – Received phone call from Amy earlier in the day explaining they would be meeting with buyer to choose from memberships they are aware of.
7/27/2017 8:23pm – Sent email to Amy Miller, Broker, Gold Coast Real Estate Inc. with Globe Quest Travel Club contract defining what membership levels we have, including our purchase price & a paid receipt. (Email included)
7/28/2017 – Gold Coast Real Estate has the sales meeting with Buyer.
7/28/2017 1:23 p.m. – Received email congratulations & Acceptance Letter email from Amy Miller, Gold Coast Real Estate Inc. (Email included)
7/30/2017 1:58 p.m. – Sent email with signed Acceptance Letter, and scanned documents on our Globe Quest Travel Club membership to Amy Miller, Gold Coast Real Estate Inc. Also sent confirmation document that our 2017 maintenance fees were current for the year. (Documents included)
7/31/2017 – Phone call with Amy on Cyndi’s cell phone letting us know that Global Alpha Capital, LLC would be contacting us about setting up Escrow Account & closing process.
8/2/1017 – 4:46 pm – Received email from Adam Mendoza, escrow agent for Global Alpha Capital LLC. It included a welcome letter from Richard Casanas, primary financial manager for Global Alpha Capital LLC . Also a CitiBanamex Trust account application to establish our escrow account. (Email & documents included)
8/3/2017 5:05 pm – Sent email to Adam with the completed CitiBanamex Trust account application. (Email & document included)
8/3/2017 5:11pm – Sent email to GCRE Inc, Amy Miller, that Adam Mendoza would be handling the escrow account. (Email included)
8/4/2017 10:45am – Amy responded…thank you very much via email. (Email included)
8/9/2017 10:00am – Received via email our first CitiBanamex statement for 8/7/2017, showing balance of $64,700, the agreed purchase price of our vacation travel club membership. (Email & document included)
8/15/2017 5:17pm – Received via email our sales agreement outlining sale price, legal information, and reimbursements expected. (Email included)
8/15/2017 10:21pm – Replied to Amy via email with several questions needing clarification. (Email included)
8/16/2017 – Phone call from Amy stating that we could setup meeting with Richard Brown, senior broker, to discuss the contract and to ask our questions. Did so.
8/16/2017 11:35am – Sent Amy email with all questions that we wanted to discuss with broker, and confirming we have conference call scheduled for Friday. (Email included)
8/18/2017 around 10am – Conference call with Richard Brown to discuss contract & questions. During this conversation Richard notified us that the buyer would be paying the 16% federal sales tax in Mexico for this transaction. Also informed us we needed to establish a temporary tax id, as this membership is considered ‘real property’ in Mexico. Charge for doing so included fees for legal representation of attorney in Mexico. Total amount of $4,564 US dollars, that we would need to pay upfront via wire transfer to Mexican bank and name legal representative there. We should expect to receive a revised sales contract reflecting this amount in the reimbursements section. (SRE visa permit)
8/18/2017 12:01ET – Received email from Amy with revised sales agreement. (Email included)
8/18/2017 11:10am CT – We emailed Amy back saying the 2017 membership fees were not listed on the revised sales contract. (Email included)
8/21/2017 4:36pm – Received via email revised sales agreement dated 8/18 with tax id reimbursement only. (Email included)
8/21/2017 7:03pm – Cyndi emailed Amy again mentioning maintenance fees still not listed. (Email included)
8/22/2017 3:12pm – Received revised sales agreement via email dated 8/22 with tax id reimbursement & maintenance fees listed. (Email & document included)
8/22/2017 9:23pm – emailed Amy the signed revised agreement noted above.
8/23/2017 5:19pm – Received from GAC LLC, Adam Mendoza, via email a statement of account activity for CitiBanamex for 8/22/2017. (shows reimbursement of SRE visa permit in escrow account for $4564 & membership renewal fee reimbursement of $181). (Email & documents included)
8/24/2017 3:45pm – Received email from Adam Mendoza, preliminary closing package attachments. 1) escrow agreement, 2) title insurance/certificate of assumption, 3) SRE visa inscription form, 4) translation of RFC taxpayer id documentation from Spanish to English, 5) wire transfer instructions. (Email & documents included)
8/25/2017 3:48pm – John received phone call from Anthony Franco, Global Alpha Capital LLC, to go over the wire transfer instructions; then John visited Chase Bank and performed the wire transfer & secured the necessary documents to prove same.
8/25/2017 5:08pm – Replied via email with the following signed
Attachments: 1) escrow agreement, 2) title insurance/certificate of assumption, 3) SRE visa inscription form, 4) wire transfer instruction, 5) wire transfer proof of payment, 6) wire transfer disclosure & receipt. (Email & documents included)
8/29/2017 5:48pm – Received email from Adam important documents: 1) receipt for Mexican federal registration inscription (SRE), 2) receipt for federal IBA 16% tax that buyer paid, as proof to be utilized when we file for 2017 USA taxes. (Email & documents included)
9/6/2017 11:01am – Received email from Adam and attachment for Mexico state tax invoice for Baja California Sur area in amount of $9705. Was advised if questions to contact Gold Coast. (Email included & document)
9/6/2017 12:53pm – Cyndi sent email to Adam asking who pays this state tax mentioned above.
9/8/2017 – Spoke on phone with Richard M. Bertocci, Gold Cost, about this state tax invoice & why we were expected to pay since buyer paid Fed tax. He mentioned something about NAFTA law, and that we needed to pay this state tax and be reimbursed with it being noted on addendum to sales agreement.
9/8/2017 9:22pm – Received via email addendum to sales contract including this state tax reimbursement. (Email & document included)
9/8/2017 3:36pm CT – returned via email signed addendum attachment to Richard. (Email included & document)
9/8/2017 3:57pm – Received email from Adam Mendoza with wire transfer instructions to cover state tax. (Email & document included)
9/11/2016 6:42pm – Received via email updated statement from Adam of account activity from CitiBanamex reflecting the new deposit for reimbursement of the state tax amount of $9705. (escrow account). (Email & statement included)
9/11/2017 9:37pm – replied via email to Adam stating wire transfer would happen 9/12/2017 per instructions Received. (Email included)
9/12/2017 4:37pm – sent Adam email with following attachments: 1) wire transfer instructions, 2) wire transfer proof of payment $9705, 3) wire transfer receipt for payment of state tax. (Email & documents included)
9/18/2017 3:59pm – Received email from Adam attachment of receipt of payment for state tax
9/19/2017 12:22pm – Received email from Adam with attachments from SAT Office in Mexico City – legal & recording invoice, legal & recording fee in Spanish & translation of same. 3 documents. Invoice in amount of $4352 US. Cyndi forwarded this email later that evening to Amy Miller and requested she contact John to explain what this additional fee was about. (Email & documents included)
9/20-21/2017 – after receiving yet another unexpected request for fees, Cyndi researched heavily on internet: FTC blog & elsewhere as it was becoming evident this was a scam that seemed to never have an ending…asking for more & more fees be paid. Found numerous hits detailing exactly what we were experiencing on the FTC website warning people of this scam.
Gold Coast & GA did attempt to contact us a couple times via phone calls, but after receiving an email back from a query we completed from Scam Experts website, Gregory Robinson-senior scam expert advisor, to have NO FURTHER CONTACT with these folks along with other advice, we listened and took that advice. Email included from Scam Experts advisor.
9/22/2017 8:00am – after much discussion of what to do at this point, and also advice from Scam Experts advisor & what we read on FTC, we penned an email to send to Amy Miller & Adam Mendoza stating that we were retaining legal counsel at this point. No further money would be sent anywhere & no documents would be signed without approval of legal counsel. To date 10/2/2017, we HAVE NOT received any further phone calls or emails from either the Gold Coast Real Estate Inc or Global Alpha Capital LLC entities. No doubt this more than confirms we got caught up in a scam. At this point we have paid a total of $14,269.
We have filed formal complaints with Attorney General of Illinois; Attorney General of New York; Federal Trade Commission; and now the BBB. We have a bundle of all the emails & documents pertaining to this adventure.