Mr. Powell a citizen of the United States, tells us that a couple of years ago he decided to move and live in Tijuana, and when he tried to purchase a home near the sea he was scammed:
I currently live in Playas de Tijuana and the only language I speak is English.
Due to the fact that the cost of living in San Francisco is very high, I decided to move to Playas de Tijuana with my daughter.
I had an interest in buying a home that was close to the ocean so I started to do some thorough research on my own. Looking for prices to compare, location and contacts in local Real Estate.
On April 15, 2018, as I was walking along Paseo Playas de Tijuana Avenue I saw information for a new Real Estate Project, next to the sea, called ‘’MERIDIANO’’.
This project was located at 3255 Farallon, between the streets of Paris and Llamas; the Playas section of Costa Hermosa in Tijuana.
I contacted the Real Estate Agency known as "PROBIEN" and made an appointment with Agent Magdalena Solís for the 20th of the same month and year.
On April 20, 2018, the Real Estate Agent Magdalena Solís and I had the scheduled appointment, and concluded that I had the interest of purchasing a home from the real estate project known as "MERIDIANO", the agent booked an appointment on April 24, 2018, for me to sign a sales contract.
In addition, during that meeting I also requested from the agent to introduce me to the owner of the real estate development. Agent Magdalena Solís agreed; and stated on that day, that the representative of the real estate project was engineer David Espinosa Lozano.
On April 24, 2018, David Espinosa Lozano and I had a meeting at the address located at Paseo Playas de Tijuana number 3255 between the streets of Paris and Llamas, interior number 5 and 6 Jardines del Sol Section, Playas de Tijuana, in which Espinosa was the owner of the base property of the real estate project known as ‘’ MERIDIANO ’’.
At that meeting, I was accompanied by a friend who was my interpreter, an American citizen, who was fluent in Spanish and told David Espinosa Lozano of my interest in acquiring a home in the ‘’ MERIDIANO ’ housing complex to which David proposed to sell me a housing unit by means of a ‘’ Purchase Promissory Contract ’’.
On May 4th, 2018, David Espinosa Lozano in legal representation of DAME CONSTRUCCIÓN Y DESARROLLOS, S. DE R.L. DE C.V., and myself ANTHONY ARNEL POWELL, of American citizenship, and as a third party - without any quality - AJ DESARROLLOS, S.A. DE C.V., represented by the same person, entered into ‘’ Purchase and Sale Promissory Contract ’’ regarding the unit identified as:
Lote 2, con las siguientes características Casa Tipo A, con 280 m2 de construcción, 3 recámaras, 3 y medio baños, cocina, comedor, sala, estancia familiar, cuarto de servicio con baño completo, cuarto de lavado, garaje para dos automóviles, terrazas y jardín, la cual contaría con una superficie de terreno de 347 m2
The price of the sale transaction was accorded at $ 310,000.00 dollars to the seller David Espinosa Lozano.
On May 9th, 2018, I made an international transfer for the first payment for $ 48,200.00 dollars.
On June 13th, 2018, I made a second international transfer as payment for $ 50,000.00 dollars.
On July 19th, 2018, I made a third international transfer as payment for $ 40,000.00 dollars.
On July 24, 2018, I made a cash payment for $ 10,000.00 dollars.
In the end the total payment I made was for $ 148,200.00 dollars.
On September 14, 2018, I received a document signed by David Espinosa Lozano, as legal representative, in which he unilaterally raised the purchase price up $ 15,000.00 dollars, that is, if the initial price was for $ 310,000.00 dollars, it rose to the price of $ 325,000.00 dollars.
The parties within the sales contract never agreed to the previous last minute proposition, that is, the unilateral rise on the purchase price of the property.
I was confused with this procedure and felt that the seller was taking advantage of me. I talked to a friend and he referred me to a law firm to look further into this.
The law firm told me that since I was late on a payment the seller was penalizing me. Even though it was not under the Contract. Which I understood.
Nevertheless, the Law firm studied the documents, looked on the records in the public registry of property, and found out that David Espinosa Lozano, the seller, was not the owner of the property. The real owner is another person called Elias Atri Cheque, legal representative of another company called AJ Desarrollos, S.A. de C.V., alleged owner of Baja Business Center in Jalapa street, number 11, Neidhart, Tijuana. Right across Paseo Chapultepec.
In addition, David Espinosa Lozano was given a power of administration from Elias Atri Cheque, in representation of AJ Desarrollos, S.A. de C.V. Nevertheless, he didn’t have the power of domain which is required to sell. That is fraud in Mexico.
In sum, I was told that I could not buy the property close to the ocean in Mexico. That I can only acquire it through a trust for multiple years. The seller did not tell me this.
I stopped the payments for the purchase. I felt I had no legal certainty.
I had multiple phone calls and messages from David Espinosa Lozano to make a payment. He claimed the real owner authorized him. He kept insisting for the payments.
Until one day, I had a call from one of David´s attorneys, and he told me the contract was rescinded.
I asked for my money back. I was told by David Espinosa Lozano that the money would be transferred.
Days, weeks and months passed and I kept receiving messages that the money will be transferred. Justifications such as it is the accountants fault. The payment is being delayed by the bank.
This happened for around six months. Going back and forth. Until I decided to contact the owner Elias Atri Cheque. He told me another version. That they needed to sell the unit I was sold, to recover the money. That they did not have my money.
This was in 2018. I had to hire a law firm to sue David Espinosa Lozano for fraud. I have had no help from his partner Elias Atri Cheque.
In 2019, I found out the same property I was sold, was sold to another person called Juan Arana Olea.
After I found this out, I contacted Elias Atri Cheque. He told me in a message that he was the owner of the property but Meridiano was not his project. That he did not sell me any property.
They hired attorneys to respond to the legal actions I interposed. I assume they wanted to keep my money.
These are supposed to be serious and respected people in Tijuana. With people like this, I do not feel safe buying or investing in Baja. Nor do I recommend it.