Hundreds of thousands lost. Families desperate for answers. Victims across the U.S. now coming forward. KRDO investigates new complaints against two Colorado-based companies accused of fraudulently selling and renting timeshares.
“It’s killed me, ripped my heart out, it’s ruined my life,” said Kenneth Schaefer, a Philadelphia native. “It’s been gut wrenching.”
Schaefer got a call from a Boulder-based company, The Consultants Firm International last November with a request to rent 10 weeks of his timeshare. The property was a part of “Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa” based in in Cabo San Lucas.
“They offered me $34,650,” Schaefer said. “I was excited, it seemed legit at first.”
It was a similar story for Atlanta-native Faith Vickerie who we profiled earlier this month. In Vickerie’s case, the same Boulder-based company contacted her asking if she wanted to sell claiming they had a buyer.
“They said the buyer’s name was Carlos Bedoya, he was offering to pay $212,000,” said Vickerie. “We all signed the contract.”
It was a similar scenario that unfolded for both Schaefer and Vickerie.
After the two were contacted by The Consultants Firm International, a Colorado Springs-based company Diversified Investment Holdings contacted them claiming they handled the contracts to close the deal.
Over the phone, the company always promised: “no upfront fees.”
Yet, it was a mere two weeks later when a woman named Angela Baker, claiming to be an account manager with Diversified, started requesting payments required by the Mexican government.
“There were more than a dozen taxes that started to pile up,” Schaefer said. “But, they promised we would be reimbursed by the buyer.”
The taxes were things like:
A “Luxury Tax” that amounted to more than $80K
A “Capital Gains Tax” totalling more than $132K
The list went on over the course of the next eight to 10 months. During that time, Schaefer and Vickerie received emails from the president of the company requesting more money, while assuring reimbursement.
“They said make this payment, we will close this deal in 24-48 hours,” said Schaefer.
Nearly a year later, Schaefer paid over $44K. Vickerie even worse, paying $412K.
In the contract it was promised the deal would be closed within 30-45 days. Although, in each case these families have waited nearly a year and have yet to see a dime.
KRDO called the manager handling both of these accounts, Angela Baker, but the receptionist told reporter Stephanie Sierra she was not available.
Baker has refused to answer our calls for the past month. We have yet to hear a response from the company. Diversified Investment Holdings is currently not rated or accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
As a post note: we requested proof of ID from one of the company managers, Richard Wells. The passport picture provided appears invalid, where the state of Washington is misspelled.