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Paragon PropertiesScam and cheating

So I have now read a bunch of reports on Paragon Properties here on [redacted] and I am completely up in the air. I put a down payment on a property in Playa del Mar in Feb 2006. I had no intentions on paying it off until the infrastructure was in place and I was able to build. As is the case for many of you, NO INFRASTRUCTURE. Per the contract, it was supposed to be in within 18 months of the date I signed the contract.

Now I live in Costa Rica, and have learned many things about how things work down here. I love the country and will probably remain here for a long time and will try to build on my lot in Playa del Mar, when the infrastructure goes in.

I am in a quandary because I share all of your sentiments about how they have breached the contract...they have! However, living in Costa Rica you get used to hearing this phrase 'Tico Time.' Things just don't EVER get done when they are supposed to get done down here. So, I can understand the hold up with getting in the infrastructure.

Another thing that I have read complaints about is 'There is no such super highway going from San Jose to the beach.' Let me attest to the fact that there IS INDEED a highway (I would not dare to call it SUPER) that will pass from San Jose to the coast and make travel time to said coast drastically shorter than it is currently. The highway has been in the planning stages for like 25 years. I have spoken with Attorneys and real estate agents here and they have told me how long they have been waiting for this road to be started. Again, things NEVER get done when they are scheduled to be done.

Someone has stated that they have had a hard time getting in touch with the company about their lots. I can only say that each time I have tried to call David Valentine, even when trying to call him from Costa Rica, I have gotten through to him. I simply call the local office in Heredia and they patch me through (that may be an antiquated phrase but its the best I could come up with). I asked him recently to email me a copy of my contract and the next day it was in my inbox.

One other complaint has been that you have not received a deed for the property, and I don't really understand this one. It would be impossible to register a deed in any state in the U.S. for property that is in another country. My lawyer here in Costa Rica told me that with projects of this magnitude, the normal chain of events is the project is applied for and either approved/denied. Then down the road when the infrastructure is in, the lots are deeded and recorded in the Registro Nacional in San Jose. Google Registro Nacional Costa Rica and if you speak spanish you will be able to confirm the finca number on that website.

It is really difficult to be certain of something when you haven't seen any progress but, I went to one of the projects and there were actually paved roads throughout the development. It seems to me that they wouldn't have spent all the money that they have on the things that I have actually seen, if they were going to rip off this many people. But, and this is a big but, Enron was able to pull the wool over TONS of peoples eyes.

Responses

  • Ri
    Ripped Off 1951 Feb 11, 2014

    I am sorry to update everyone with the bad news that the Class Action Law Suit that I was part of, has been thrown out by a crooked judge I think. To even conceive that a judge would consider abandoning 500+ persons ripped off, is absurd and very malicious. The judge decided that each of the complainants must sue individually, and that option on a $25K investment is not a valid option for me. Spending $30K in pursuit of $25K is not an option, and for what when they have taken the money from escrow allowed by a crooked lawyer Neustein, and they have divided and buried it. Over $50 million, and this is no news to the Feds, FBI, and State who have turned an eye from this major intentional fraud. It is sad to new find out that this bunch of Jews who grew up in Miami Beach and have worked together with criminals records are allowed to be licensed and operate in this state and still breathe in this country. This country of ours is corrupt, and has deteriorated over the last 30 years, where ### like these are allowed to damage hard working citizens and tax payers of this country. Most of us, near retirement age, not investors, looking for a lot to retire on in Costa Rica. I am surprised to know that some of the persons defrauded who have lost over $300K, do not take harsh action against this gang of thieves.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Alex Monroe Oct 18, 2011

    There is a posible solution, i can explain to all of you what can be done, if you what to have the infrastructure, maybe it will not be usefull for all of you but I think that for those who has title will work.
    Contact me at [email protected]
    Regards

    0 Votes
  • Ge
    GenDelaware Jan 24, 2011

    Dear Paragon Property victims, If you have not already done so, PLEASE JOIN THE LAWSUIT which has been brought against Paragon by Salelson Law Firm in Florida. They have over 130 Plaintiffs already. They require a retainer of $500, which is much more reasonable than the one posted by Hess. God only knows if we will ever recover our investments, but I believe there is strength in numbers. Contact these two people for more information:
    Vanessa Viña [email protected]
    Tina Hwang [email protected]
    SARELSON LAW FIRM, P.A.
    1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1440
    Miami, FL 33131
    Phone: [protected]
    Fax: [protected]
    Good luck to all! Gen in Delaware

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Margo L Nov 08, 2010

    I agree with Lamont C. Paragon has been conducting this rip off for years.Out of 18 subdivisions they have sold completly and have collectd funds on not a single one has been completed. The only way that anyone has any hope of getting anything from them is to go after the individuals associated with Paragon that have visable assets. They are listed in the Sorelson class action lawsuit and it can be read on line. It pretty well sums up the activites of Gale and associates. Many of them have extensive criminal pasts and have served prison terms for investor fraud.

    1 Votes
  • La
    Lamont C Nov 08, 2010

    I think you are either a shill for Gale or the bigest fool on the planet. If you think for one minute that they did not take your money. Gale has been singing this same song for years before the economic downturn. They only developed eyewash. Gatehouses that have deteriorated from lack of maintainence in the middle of cow pastures. see the pictures on welovecostarica.com.

    The real brains behind this operation is Gale's not so silent partner who has never been involed in a legit business in his life and has fleeced millions of dollars from unsuspecting people. Gale is nothing more than a egotistical strung out front man. Who eventually will go down for this gigantic scam.

    1 Votes
  • Pe
    peter Oct 19, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I spoke with Bill Gale last month (September) and had an extensive conversation with him. He expressed his frustration not being able to obtain the bank financing needed to move forward. I know of other developers from CR and developing in CR who are running into the same problem. Eventually the funds will loosen and developers can move forward. In the meantime, the banks are aware of the lawsuits and are reluctant to lend as long as the suits are ongoing. Paragon will have a better chance of completeing the project once the class action suits are thrown out, which hopefully will be soon. Those investors who are part of the class action are shooting themselves in the foot. You'll only enrich the lawyers and ultimately bury your own investment..The investors are better off forming a committee to deal directly with Paragon. They're not unreasonable people. I've offerred to help Paragon with the financing but they would rather build their banking relationships to facilitate the next step, which is building homes. Their intent was never to make a much of a profit from the sale of the land but rather in building homes. I call on all investors to refrain from joining the class action suits and work as one toward completing our objectives. My investment in 2 lots in Bueana Vista is paid in full and I look forward to developing my property.

    -1 Votes
  • Fu
    funlovind Oct 16, 2010

    I have 2 lots in Bahia Mar and when I was down last time the gate house was finished. It is very impressive and it would be a shame not to finish that developement I have the deeds and the corporation books and would love to hear from others in that area. We need to band together and figure out what are options are. I would love to build there someday.I am planning a trip there next February to investigate my options with the proper authorities. Anyone want to meet there post your info here. Ron

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    Granted Aug 12, 2010

    Attorney Hess is looking for $1500 from each to get started on a case, and an additional $1000 each to continue, as I understand it. I paid $30, 000 as a down payment on one lot in Ocean Point and now cannot find a way short of joining the class action suit to recoup my "investment". I was told by their attorney, Mr Nuestein of Hollywood Fl., that my money would be safe, the better business bureau gave Paragon high ratings and that things were booming in Costa Rica. Things are booming, but only for Bill Gale, Stephan I. Tashman, Lyle Wexler and Les Masters, the now retired fast talker that convinced me this was a good investment, along witht he honorable Mr Nuestein.

    I can't help but think that with the hundreds of us who lost big on this scam, the Attorney General for the state of Florida would be interested in pursuing action against these people, except that he's too busy runing for office to bother.

    Any ideas would be welcome, as together we are stronger than individually.

    Grant

    0 Votes
  • Pe
    Perez1 Jul 08, 2010

    Hello I just spoke with lyle wexler a minute ago, he said he is an employee of paragon properties and he is not able to give any information because tehre is a class suit agains them, so please get as much people as we can together and joing the suit already going on to get our money back and put thei croock on jail as soon as possible

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
    [email protected] Jul 02, 2010

    Hello Everyone,

    I realize that many of you who have been victimized by Paragon Properties are confused as to how to proceed. In case you are interested in becoming a memeber of a class action suit you may contact the office of John P. Hess for more details. You may email us at [email protected] to inquire or visit our website www.johnphess.com. We have already filed a complaint in federal court and have a group of 9 participants.

    0 Votes
  • Cr
    crthacks Jun 15, 2010

    Thanks, Michael. This does help as my husband and I have also been in contact with Mr. Valentine through this difficult time. We always knew it could be a risky investment, but when we came down to Costa Rica to see for ourselves what was going on prior to signing the agreement, we saw the infrastructure in progress in most of the developments. Unfortunately, ours is the last development and there is no infrastructure that has been started (Ocean Palms) as of this time. We did retain a lawyer and went through the Costa Rica government when we bought the right to purchase the property in Spring of 2007, so we would have the Costa Rica government to petition should we feel the need to do so. At this time, in light of the international downturn in the economy, I am neutral about what the outcome will be. But, certainly if everyone sues, it will almost ensure that Paragon will not be able to sustain growth and get future financing to complete their projects. My husband and I are on the fence for now and cautiously optimistic...
    Cindy

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Mel P May 14, 2010

    I just phoned the office again 2 days ago and finally their answering machine message was changed to indicate that they would be away from the (Florida) office until June 1st.

    Not only did I invest my life savings (4 lots in Sunset Bay and 2 in Ocean Palms), but that investment was supposed to cover my Inversionista residency status requirement.

    I am still holding out some hope, but that won't last much longer without some definitive action on Paragon's part.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    [email protected] Apr 07, 2010

    As mentioned before, if anyone is looking for represenation please contact us. We have already contacted several persons in regards to this matter who are looking to take a class action suit. If you have any information that you are willing to provide in order to help our case or are looking for legal advice please feel free to contact our office by email or telephone. Our email addresses are [email protected] & [email protected] If you prefer telephone, [protected] you can check us out at www.johnphess.com.

    0 Votes
  • Sj
    SJimenez Apr 01, 2010

    This stinks! I have called the Hollywood office a few times and it just goes into voicemail, so I jumped on line to see if I could get some insight!! NOT HAPPY!! My wife and I bought in Las Brisas 3 years ago and I have spoke with David many times about the ongoing project and delays. I hope at the very least that the Costa Rican government would work somthing out for us!! I really thought I could see this kind of crap coming! My wife is going to be upset. Please let me know if any of you have any additional isight about how to proceed from a legal standpoint. We must have some rights!!

    Sean

    0 Votes
  • Eg
    egbohon Mar 30, 2010

    Does anyone have a copy of a check issued to you by Paragon, like, for example, to pay for travel reimbursement? I will pay $50 (via paypal or however you'd like) to someone (only one person) who can scan a copy of their check and email it to me. I would prefer a more recent check, like within the last two years, or, better yet, within the last year. Click on my profile and send me a message to get my email address. (I don't really care to post it directly on the internet...) Thanks!

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Mar 25, 2010

    The good news I just found out is that the Costa Rican government, if they end up with the properties in case of bankruptcy, would still deal with each one of us and not just take the property and write us off. They are a just government that does not want to discourage foreign investors and worst case scenerio, if bankruptcy is what happens, would listen to each one of us as we make our case to claim our land.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Mar 25, 2010

    Peter, I'm sorry but I just directly spoke with someone that no longer works with them in CR and they are not doing ANYTHING, there is no deeds coming. They are not paying their lawyer in CR right now a dime and she is in no way, shape or form, working on any corportate books, and like I said, a lot of the properties are getting liens on them from a CR bank. I wish I could be more positive, I wish my source was wrong and yours was right, but I think hanging in there will just give them more time to run for the hills.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Mar 25, 2010

    I have just done some research in CR and it turns out that a lot of the properties now have a lien against them by a Costa Rican bank. Paragon still owns the rest, so if we quickly put together a class action, it could still be paid by the liquidation of the properties that are still in their name. Otherwise, over time, all the properties will have a lien against them and we will have to directly communicate with that bank to try to claim what is ours. Meantime, there are various agencies in Florida collecting information to see what can be done.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
    peter Mar 25, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Finally, Good news. I've heard from a reliable source that the infrastructure funding is in place and work will be completed over the next 6 months. The same source has indicated that the corporate books and deeds that we've been patiently waiting 2+ years for will be forthcoming in the next 45-60 days. Perhaps, we should use this source of communication to confirm any of the above as soon as we have first hand knowledge. Hindsight is 20-20 but considering the condition of the world's finances over the last couple of years, maybe we will witness this miracle. Hang in there, neighbors.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
    [email protected] Mar 25, 2010

    If anyone needs representation involving this matter please contact John Hess, P.A. you may do so by email at [email protected]/ [email protected] or by phone at [protected]. If you would like to visit our website it is www.johnphess.com. Mr. Hess is already involved with a couple who has been scammed by Paragon Properties and if more people file suit the case will be much more fruitful and worthwhile to anyone who is part of it.

    0 Votes
  • Tg
    tgjr Mar 24, 2010

    David Valentine answered the phone on 3/23. So the sky has not fallen just yet "Chicken Little".

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
    Petersonf Mar 17, 2010

    Well, Today is March 17, 2010. No answers the phone at the Paragon Properties HQ in Hollywood, FL. It appears Bill Gale, andhis band of thiefs "took the money and ran". Like everyone else, I used life saving to invest in this "scam". Yes, it appeared "ligitimate", but I told all sams do until they get your money, the they leave without a trace, no forward address or contact information. I for one don't have he funds to pay a hight price lawyer to sue. I mean, how will we catch these guys? Is ESTEBAN SOTO honest, or is he part of the gang theifs to "rip-off the "stupid Americans"?

    1 Votes
  • Ls
    LSirovy Mar 12, 2010

    I am reading these posting and have a question... which properties are you referring to? I own a lot in Heights of Pacifica Phase 1 and have not visited it in years. Does anyone know the status of that property?

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Mejia Mar 10, 2010

    o.k. guy don´t wory i have the pic about the property.
    if you whant you can call at ESTEBAN SOTO he is a new manager in costa rica
    [protected].

    -1 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Feb 28, 2010

    We must start by all contacting the Seniors vs. Crime office. A program by the Attorney General in Florida. They have helped others get their money back.

    1 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Feb 28, 2010

    There is laws that have to protect us. At worst we should be able to put a lien on our properties. I know Costa Rica has similar laws. This is still an American company. We have rights. If the complany closed there still is all that property that they must have bought from Costa Rica. There has to be a way for us to still get our property. I some of us could at least get so many acres we could build our own gated community. There has to be something we can do.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    santilli1 Feb 28, 2010

    Great, I'm freaking out. I have always been extremely scared but the fact that they won't answer their phones means that it's over, it must be a flat out scam. We have to fight back, I'm not rich, this truly was my life's savings. And my priceless dream. We can't take this laying down. I will find these people. Bill Gale, Lyle Wexler, David Valentine, Bob Street.

    1 Votes
  • Di
    Diane Costello Feb 20, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have a list of the names involved starting with CEO Bill Gale, Lyle Wexlar, David Balantine, (have to check spelling). Let's band together...

    0 Votes
  • Di
    Diane Costello Feb 20, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am ready to sue these scam artists. They stole my money and have disappeared. Their website is dead and no one answers the phone. They no longer pretend to be legitimate. It's time we banded together to get them. They stole my life savings and my dreams...

    Diane Costello
    NJ
    Playa Del Mar Lot 18

    Paid in Full
    SCAMMED!!!
    [protected]

    1 Votes
  • Ks
    ksiyer Feb 05, 2010

    My name is K iyer and this is my 2nd post and update. I have been waiting for 3 years from the day of the 25k deposit. I have lost about 70k. I say" lost" because I feel that the only course of action we can take is calling the feds over and over. I filed action against these guys and they didn't respond to the action filed against them???????? That's when I knew that this is really bad. Pretty scary to lose that kind of money and I know many other people have too. This is more than then Costa Rica being slow, its fraud. And if it is not than I challenge these guys to go to court and defend your self against these allegations! It sure seems like fraud to me! I feel bad for all the people that trusted these people.

    0 Votes
  • Xj
    X Jaco Feb 04, 2010

    My deed shows the area of my land with the phrase "unicamente para uso agricola". The adjacent land is marked Paragon Properties of Costa Rica S.A. and the land on the other adjacent property to me is marked "Bolivian Song Realty Society De Responsabilidad Limitada H" .( If anyone wants to comment on this aspect that would be welcome. ) In one of my conversasions with Paragon I was told that since I owned the property I could build on if I wanted to. If they are actually going to put roads, water and electricity in I'd rather wait because I don't want the side of a mountain in my living room, if you know what I mean? I was told that I was the last one to purchase in my subdivission and my aniversary date is in June. After that I will consider them in violation of all written and verbal agreements and hope that they stay out of my way. I originally bought this property as an investment and planned to sell it but if it's not developed it's not worth what I paid for it. I contacted the realestate agent that was featured in some of there material and she said that she couldn't sell the land until the infrastructure was in.

    0 Votes
  • Xj
    X Jaco Feb 04, 2010

    Trouble in Paradise! Well it's been almost 5 years now since I purchased a hectre from Paragon. Yes I have been lied to and experienced all of the same atrocities as everyone else writing here. A couple of things I will add is that I paid off the total amount (not just the $25, 000 down payment) and after a long time and many persistant calls I recieved a deed. It keeps getting worse ...sorry! The deed states that the land that I own is zoned for agriculture! When I contacted the company they said that I can still build on 15% of the land? Maybe... I don't know? My subdivission has no pavement or anything! I was there to look at it January 9, 2010.(This is my 4th trip.) There is a model home up on a hill as you try to visit the property. The area is fenced in with barbed wire. There didn't was no furnature in the house like there was at the other property they originally showed me 3 years ago. It didn't show any signs of life except for two horses which were using the porch for shade and there own personal outhouse! With my guide I hiked up to the subdivision area. The mowed lawn ended with the spec house area and the road entering the would- be developement was grown up in waist high brush. I saw an old lot number which still marked the lots so I pressed on. After about 30 meters in my guide got spooked (snakes) and wouldn't go any further untill I took the leed. As we reached the area of my property I gazed out at the peaks of Quepos and Manuel Antonio. It was beautiful! But it is on the side of a hill (for now). Which is fine except I think that things will change if it is ever actually developed, (which I seriously doubt)! As we went back to the car we met a lacal who told my guide that those people were crooks and had not paid some of the locals for clearing the land and stuff. My guide mentioned that in CR when ever there was a grievance like this the poor locals would band together and start building shacks and living on the land (Squatting). I have been in comunication with PP for 5 years and have was told two months ago that the infrastructure would definately be completed by the end of Feb 2010. So three more weeks! Then I might build an earth ship or cabin out there. I'm out of space here.

    0 Votes
  • Cw
    cwpfarr Dec 14, 2009

    I will join you. I want to see them all in prison with Madoff.
    Carol Pfarr
    [email protected]
    [protected]

    They borrowed $7M from ksicapital.com/home_flash.php
    Where is that money? They borrowed it in 2007. WHERE IS IT?

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    jonathanh3 Dec 12, 2009

    Whoever Michael is, he is using a post that I wrote on [redacted]s.com. My name is Jonathan and since writing the above article, I have made other discoveries. I contacted several Attorneys, most of which are familiar with Paragon. One attorney represented 3 clients all of whom were awarded judgments. One of them received half of his/her deposit and Paragon never paid the rest. The others never received anything. I decided not to waste any more money pursuing legal action in the US. I will however go after their Costa Rican representative Esteban Soto. I may start an online forum called www.paragonscamsofcostarica.com. Look for it soon.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    James Neuber Nov 10, 2009

    I have been waiting for my deeds for almost 2 years now for four lots in Bahia Mar. They keep putting off the completion of the infrastructure. I think we are all being scammed. There is no way, even in Costa Rica, that it takes 2 years to get a deed. I have contacted David Valentine almost every month for the past year and I keep getting put off. I finally hired an attorney in Costa Rica who stated there were several problems with my original "books". There was a corporation set up but I was NOT listed in the corporation nor was any LAND listed in the corporation. I think many of us have a real problem and should consider a class action law suit! If any of you have the same problems please feel free to contact me at [protected].
    Dr. Jim Neuber
    Milwaukee, WI

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    kiyer Oct 06, 2009

    I am screwed and in my opinion you all screwed too. My name is Mr. Iyer and I have been waiting over a year for my deed. A deed taking 13 months???? Get real they have been trying to develop this for over 5 years and have too many broken promises and too many bad stories...Who knows what the real story is. Horror stories is what Ive heard and people I have talked to! People like me that have lost a lot on this .This long drawn out mystery. This is crazy and a breech of contract. Plus some of these guys flat out lie on many levels including a lyle wexler who conned me into staying on baord when I was with in my rights to receive a full refund. Im asking for my money back and interest plus attorneys fees. Nothing less. Do not fall into this trap unless you have a lot of time, money, and hope! That is a tough combo!
    k. Iyer
    Ca.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chuck1 Jun 18, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi !
    Michael i hope you are right!
    As Peter said they never told me that i have to wait until the infrastructure is complete!
    They told me it takes about5-6 months!(it's 5 months now that i paid it in full)
    Hopefully i will get the deed soon!
    About Valentine.i too have no problem reach him anytime!
    And i've been to Costa Rica 3 times!they showed me a lot of different sites!it seems they are investing a lot of money in it!

    0 Votes
  • Pe
    peter May 29, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Thank you Michael for your insight. I've been waiting 20 months for my deed and they never told me that I wouldn't receive it until the infrastructure is complete. I assume that is correct based on your sequence of events. Please comment. I, too, have had no problem reaching Mr Valentine.

    0 Votes

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