Grand Miramar Club & SpaTime suckers

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Thomas and Veronica Hart are victims of a scam orchestrated by John Monte, C.E.O. of Grand Miramar Club and Spa designed to induce Thomas and Veronica Hart to sign an $89, 552 World Luxury Destinations contract, # WLDM0000112, permitting use of a penthouse at the Grand
Miramar Resort. Mr. Monte, along with the sales and office staff of Grand Miramar Club and Spa
and a Mr. James Brooks, an in house employee based in a Houston corporation controlled by
John Monte, carried out a scheme of deception involving written guarantees of money to be
paid for sale of previously owned timeshares that there was no intention to honor, and rental
income, as well as a false claim of approved financing with Bank of America.

On October 24, 2011, we (Thomas and Veronica Hart) attended a sales presentation at the sales
office of Grand Miramar Club and Spa, where we were asked to list our existing timeshares
and whether we would consider transferring any of our timeshares. We met with salesman
Michael Gardea who extolled the benefits of World Luxury Destinations membership, which
required purchase of weeks of residence at the Grand Miramar Resort and allows use of the
Grand Venetian and Tres Mares resorts. He was later joined by John Monte, C.E.O of Grand Miramar Club and Spa. Mr. Monte
presented information stating that we could get $49, 220 USD for the Grand Bliss (2BD, $18, 140 for the Sheraton Broadway Plantation in Myrtle Beach (2BD)
and $27, 146 for Villa del Palmar Flamingos (1 BD every other year), and stated that a foreclosed
4 bedroom penthouse at the Grand Miramar Resort could be had for $89, 552, permitting use
by us of 4 weeks per year at either the Grand Miramar, Grand Venetian or Tres Mares resorts
plus 4 additional weeks per year at other resorts available to World Luxury Destination

Following a tour of Grand Miramar Resort penthouse with salesman Michael Gardea, John
Monte presented a document, showing Continental Resources as the letterhead, guaranteeing
payment to us of $49, 220 for the Grand Bliss, $18, 140 for the Sheraton Broadway Plantation
and $27, 146 for the Villa del Palmar timeshare within 60 days after proof of ownership is
provided, plus 4 weeks guaranteed rentals of $2, 800 per week for 5 years. The document states
that " failure to execute this agreement in stated manner will result in all contacts being null
and void and all monies will be refunded." Contract #s CRC21223 & WLD M00000112 are
Based on that document and Mr. Monte's claim that interim financing by Bank of America at
2.9 percent had been approved, covering the 2 month period preceding completion of the
timeshare liquidation process, we signed a Grand Miramar Club and Spa, listing a purchase price of $89, 552, a down payment of $35, 000, and a balance to be financed of $54, 552. The contract states at the bottom that it waswitnessed by Biyaldi Estrategias Turistica SA DE CY as an authorized affiliate, and is signed by John Monte. I signed an American Express credit card slip for the down payment, receiving assurance that the AMEX charge would be reversed when interim financing at Bank of America was finalized. A Promissory Note stating that we agreed to pay $54, 552 to Vector Casa De Bolsa SA.DE CV by wire to Citibank NA in New York by November 15, 2011 was presented to us
and signed. Realizing the next day (10/25/11) that Mr. Monte failed to sign the document guaranteeing payment to us with 60 days of a total of $94, 506 for our timeshares, plus rentals of $11, 200 per year for 5 years, we went back to the sales office by cab to obtain Mr. Monte's signature on that document. He claimed that his failure to sign was an oversight and then signed the document guaranteeing payment. He also signed a letter stating that the AMEX credit card
charge would be reversed when initial financing is complete. The fact that we had not received
an email reportedly sent to us by Continental Resources was discussed.

At 8:19 PM on 10/25/11, having still received nothing from Continental Resources, I sent an
email to the email address given to us by Mr. Monte asking for proof that Grand Miramar Club and Spa would be bound under the law to cancel contract if payment by Continental Resources is not applied toward the cost of our Grand Miramar Club and Spa, and for information about the company identified as Continental Resources. I advised that I had prepared a letter giving notice of cancellation and hoped to hear from him, but received no response.

At 4:34PM on October 26, 2011, 1 sent an email advising that Notice of Cancellation of contract
was being sent by DHL registered mail. However, prior to scheduled pick up by DHL at The
Grand Bliss where we were staying, I received a phone call from James Brooks of Continental
Resources in Houston. He claimed that we should have received an email with instruction that
he sent to us on October 25, 2011, resent that email, and convinced me that Continental
Resources already had buyers for our timeshares and that we would receive the proceeds
within 40 days. After consulting with my wife, I cancelled the DHL pickup of the Notice of
Cancellation and sent another email stating that the prior emails expressing our intention to
cancel the contracts were to be disregarded.

On Monday October 31, 2011, 1 sent an email to World Luxury Destinations explaining that I
had called on Friday asking for Bank of America contact information regarding financing needed
to pay the $54, 552 Citibank promissory note and that Ms. Monserrat Torres, Member Services
Manager, stated she would be able to obtain necessary information from Bank of America and
provide such information by email. I also explained that AMEX charged a total of $36, 236.39,
including a foreign transaction fee of $952.68 and an extra $283.71 due to an incorrect
conversion rate.
I called Ms. Monserrat Torres later on October 31 asking to speak with Mr. Monte regarding
financing. He then called me, claiming that Bank of America would grant credit card financing
at 2.99 percent on the basis that I would be transferring a balance transfer. Internet research
actually revealed that current Bank of America terms allow 0% financing for 15 months for
credit balance transfers, but requires a 4% transfer fee. I pointed that out in an email sent later
that night, but received no response. Thinking things over the next day, we finally realized that
we had been misled by John Monte regarding Bank of America financing.
On November 1, 2011, Ms. Monserrat Torres sent an email stating that Mr. Brooks had wired
$2, 800 USD to be paid to us for 1 week rent in 2011. She called the next day, the day of our
departure, stating that $2, 800 plus the amount of the foreign transfer fee would be wired if I
provided our bank account routing and account numbers. On November 3, 2011, upon our return to our home, I sent that information to Ms. Monserrat Torres, faxed proof of ownership of our timeshares to Mr. James Brooks, and spoke to Mr. Brooks, who claimed that he would proceed to expedite liquidation of our 3 timeshares.
Later on November 3, 2010, 1 searched the internet for information regarding the Grand Miramar resort and was shocked to discover that offers of guaranteed buyouts of timeshares owned by clients of Grand Miramar sales personnel is a sham, and that John Monte has been the primary perpetrator of that scam, as well as the scam of falsely offering financing at a low
introductory rate. Research revealed that resale companies claimed to be responsible for such
timeshare sales are shell companies with in house representatives controlled by Mr. Monte, that the timeshares of other clients were never sold and that promised rental payments "guaranteed" to clients purchasing use of the Grand Miramar had not been received.
It is apparent that Continental Resources is not a legitimate timeshare resale company, that Mr.
James Brooks' representations to me were false, and we have been misled throughout the sales
process by World Luxury Destinations C.E.O and Continental Resources President John Monte,
salesman Michael Gardea, World Luxury Destinations Member Services Manager Monserrat
Torres and Mr. James Brooks of the shell company Continental Resources.
Considering that John Monte signed both the World Luxury Destinations contract and the
agreement to refund all monies if payment to us of $94, 506 for timeshare sales plus rental
income is not made, and that it is clear that the agreement to pay the specified amounts will not be executed, we contend that we should not be held liable for payment of any amount and that cancellation of the World Luxury Destinations contract is warranted.


  • Ch
    charlesb12 Nov 26, 2013
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    The sales tactics are the same for everyone at the Mayan Palace timeshare resorts. Hard sell, disrespectful when you say no, broken promises. DO NOT think for one moment that you have an upper hand...these are professional con artists highly trained to take your money. You have no chance of ever seeing your money again or receiving anything close to the value you were promised. Assume that everything posted by Grupo Mayan and its affiliates is a lie or a scam. Never do business with this company; never buy a mayan palace timeshare scam. This is a good article about Mayan Palace:

    0 Votes
  • HUNTER Liars Jul 25, 2013

    HUNTER Liars, la división Legal de Travel Time puede gestionar para Ustedes un Acuerdo de Terminación Anticipada de Contrato de Membresía en un plazo máximo de 45 días hábiles.

    Los honorarios son bastante razonables, solo $1, 299.00 USD. Sin importar la situación en que se encuentre su cuenta (pagos vencidos de mensualidades, mantenimientos y/o cuotas extraordinarias).

    Adicionalmente ofrecemos una Garantía de Resultados por escrito, de tal suerte que si no obtenemos para Usted el Acuerdo de Terminación de Contrato: NO COBRAMOS.

    Siempre funciona, cuando se sabe lo que se hace.

    + info: [protected] * LADA sin costo: [protected] * *

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  • Ta
    taken in P.V. Jul 04, 2012

    Thanks for the info. We are in a similar deal with Jerry Drexler, at the penisula for 8 weeks on a foreclosure from bank of america, their 60 days are up on july 2 and no certified cheque from United Assets as Jerry promised for the sale of our Mayan Palace, the $3000.00 on my wifes visa has not been removed Jerry said he was checking with accounting at would call back that was late may and no call back. Now World Luxury Destinations say they want the remaining $21, 900.00 USD paid. I guess the 3k was a learning loss and we will not be sending anymore money. If they want to sue me for their scam Jerry will have to come out from behind his cellphone answering machine which he won't return calls.
    thks for me saving me losing more money!

    0 Votes
  • Te
    Tehart Jun 18, 2012

    This is a follow -up regarding the scam orchestrated by World Luxury Destinations against Thomas and Veronica Hart, posted above on 1/3/12.

    The Hart's were fortunate. They were able to successfully appeal the American Express credit card charge and have paid no additional money.

    Based on documentation signed by John Monte requiring all money to be refunded if the agreement to sell other time shares was not executed, as well as documentation of numerous complaints against World Luxury Destinations, American Express ruled that the Hart's complaint was valid and reversed the credit card charge submitted by John Monte.

    1 Votes
  • Co
    cookiefann May 12, 2012

    "Gerry Drexler" was our salesman. Our deal is exactly like yours. We purchased a "foreclosure" with the caveat that Contintental Resourses would "liquidate" our other timeshare by a certain date. John Monte signed both contracts as representative for WLD and as President of Continental Resources. They also produced 'buyers" for our Grand Luxxe from a third party (just after the agreement expired) for for well over the original offer and expected us to bite. At the same time we tried to get into the website and were locked out because the entire deal was not complete. When we were instructed to wire money to a Mexican account we did more checking and found out that the closing company had a false Chicago address as did the "selling agents" and that both the closing company and selling agent were hosted by the same agent and had both websites had gone operational the week we were in Mexico.
    We contacted our credit card company (BofA) within the first 5 days of the deal telling them that we had only agreed to a temporary hold on the credit and had agreed to interim financing NOT FOR THEM TO ACTUALLY CHARGE THE ACCOUNT. That was our first red flag. We were told by BofA that we had some time to refute the charge it they didn't fulfil their end of the deal. When we received our Welcome letter from WLD it stated that our check in was Saturday to Saturday which was not what our legal contract stated. Then when we contacted the company about our VIP membership, asking what that entailed, we got no response. Then when we were locked out of the website we were told that we could not get into the website until the entire deal was closed. (Meaning that we were supposed to wire $21, 600 to a Mexican account and wait for them to wire us the proceeds of the sale...ha ha) At the same time we discovered that an FBI agent, Peter Jackson, had been following up people's complaints. We contacted him and he had us listen to voices on a recording and identify the voice. We identified James Brook's voice and Rose ?. He told us they had identified themselves as someone else. We decided to pursue the cancellation of the charge with BofA saying they did not comply with the agreement as stated. (i.e The full charge instead of the temporary, the non-liquidation, having to wire closing money to a Mexican account, the fact that Grand Luxxe never heard of Continental Resources nor had they had any contact with them as James Brooks stated they did.) When I called the Grand Luxxe and spoke to their Membership Director, he did not have nice things to say about Biyaldi Estragies (i.e, World Luxury Destinations). He told me they scammed many Grand Mayan and Grand Luxxe owners who lost money by wiring "closing costs" to an anonymus Mexican account.)
    We instructed BofA to credit our account since the entire thing is a scam and they did within a few weeks. Then WLD refuted the credit saying first that the cancellation period was only 5 days and we exceeded the 5 days. We informed them that BofA gave us at 2 billing cycles to dispute the charge. Then they said that Continental Resources was a third party and had nothing to do with our deal. (How would that be possible if John Monte is principle in both and signed both contracts?) Our answer to them was that IF Continental Resourses was indeed thrid party and had nothing to do with the WLD contract, why were we locked out of the website? We also informed them that if indeed we were VIP members why were we not treated as VIP?

    The names of the selling company is World Property Connections (no office, no physical address) and the closing company was Advantage Trust Internations which also has not physical office and gives a false address on their new website (Dec 2011)

    We caught WLD in their own scam by not playing the "third party" but that they had not fulfilled the WLD contract from the get-go. If we were indeed VIP they sure didn't live up to it from day 1. How could we expect them to live up to it down the road?

    0 Votes
  • Dd
    ddreher Apr 23, 2012
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    we had similar experience as most people on this site. working now with chase and american express but appears to be little hope. anyone having any success? what do you hear about a class action suit? any response would be greatly appreciated so we are not out there alone.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Katali Mar 28, 2012
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    received this in an email last week from someone who had just missed being taken because her credit limit was too low:
    I had gone on what was a presentation with this group. I got as far as the pretty restaurant Mango with my son. My experience was horrible. I had two credit cards with Doctor on them but I took only low line of credit cards with me. I did not qualify they say. When I was shocked and said What they were not very nice about it. I too own more than several timeshares. My 16 year old clean cut son came to my defense saying they should be ashamed of questioning his mothers qualifications. He got threatened by a MEXICAN man that looked like he just got out of prison. This man said he would like to kick the the S--- out of him, and then he progressed to ask my son how old he was to which my son replied 16. This criminal then said to my son holding up two big fists "I would kill you if you were 18."
    We were scared but I did not show it.
    When I got back to the hotel I told Fabiola about this. She then shared your email with me.
    Wow! I guess I was lucky. They obviously checked out my credit cards to find out they could not do what they did to your card.
    The sad thing is no one listens in Mexico. I do not know if your email got to the right hands. As no one really seemed to know much about the scam you got yourselves into.
    I believe the best is Twitter, Facebook, and any other site your can expose this.
    I once 9 years ago got scammed. I too went beyond my dates. It took 1 1/2 years to get my money back. It was not the big amount you got scammed. You need to write your credit card company just the same. I did and it came back to help me later. I do not know who to thank as the money came back to my credit card.
    A number of years ago I did do a presentation at Miramar and I smelled a rat.
    How do you feel about Raintree? I have been a member since 1992. So it has been know by many different names.
    Global Resort Transfer Inc. is the company that are currently doing the transfers. Have you heard of them and what the story is about them?
    Again I hope somehow this scam is put to an end. I also hope somehow you get your money back.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Katali Mar 22, 2012
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    received an email from Alberto Lares of World Luxury Destinations today with a link to a newsletter. Since I consider our contract cancelled i have not contacted them but it was interesting to see that there were about fifty email addresses primarily in the US and Canada but some in Mexico as well in the cc space. I'm thinking of contacting some of them to see if they have been scammed or possibly are supporting the scam.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Katali Mar 13, 2012
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    After reviewing our complaint that we were scammed by a fruadulant operation since November 7, 2011, last night Mastercard/Citicard denied our claim with the excuse that the card receipt was signed. It absolutely does not matter to them that there was a $35, 000 transaction for something that does not exist. They can't explain why their fraud alert didn't pick up on it. They don't care that we reported the fraud within two business days. Supposedly a letter is "in the mail" with a copy of the "merchants response".

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  • Ka
    Katali Feb 28, 2012
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    a verified customer
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    John Monte, Jerry Forney and James Brooks were key participants in an identical scam only with the Grand Venetian as the key property. We are contesting the $35, 000 credit card charge with Citicard and it has taken them since November 7the to determine whether or not this represents fraud or not. We were assured our card would not be charged and it was merely a guarantee for the contract which would be paid for our of the proceeds from our three timeshare sales. John Monte is also know as Johnny Montalbo and apparently has also operated in Matzalan and Cancun. Apparently the Profeco is well aware of this operation as is the Tourist Board but they have done nothing. Citicard's early warning fraud detection did nothing when this charge came through yet they have locked thee same card for transactions of $200 in Mexico. Exactly what do they consider fraud? We notified them two business days after the transaction on November 3rd that this fraud took place and they still are investigating and it is nearly March. Of course they intend to charge us interest for three monthes if they rule against us so why should they hurry??

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