Thousands of Americans are falling prey to complex time share scams involving the CJNG

Hotel Oceana by ABNA Playa del Carmen (Photo: ABNA)

A Mexican drug cartel known for gruesome public slaughtering drained US$40 million from Americans, and stole many elderly victims’ life savings without a drop of blood in 2022, according to FBI stats.

It’s part of a rapidly evolving timeshare scam run by the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) that is becoming more intricate, and is now estimated to be stealing hundreds of millions from Americans each year.

It started as a small operation in the Puerto Vallarta area and expanded to popular tourist spots like Cancun, according to the U.S. Treasury, which issued sanctions against seven fugitives and 19 Mexican companies connected to the scam last April.

“CJNG uses extreme violence and intimidation to control the timeshare network, which often targets elder U.S. citizens and can defraud victims of their life savings,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. said in November. “The Treasury remains committed to the Administration’s whole-of-government effort, in coordination with our partners in Mexico, to disrupt CJNG’s revenue sources and ability to traffic deadly drugs like fentanyl.” 

The Courier Journal followed a decade-long journey through the cartel’s layered scheme that cost one man just shy of $1.8 million.

The FBI said in a March 2023 warning that owners of timeshares in Mexico are being targeted at an alarming rate.

According to a U.S, government investigation, over the past decade, thousands of Americans – many of them elderly – have fallen prey to a complex scheme involving one of Mexico’s most violent cartels.

In timeshares, the cartel has found a business venture whose profits, U.S. government officials believe, now rival the business it is most known for: drug trafficking. 

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, commonly known as CJNG, started its timeshare fraud business in Puerto Vallarta and has now largely taken over the Cancún timeshare market as well. It has expanded the fraud network to at least two dozen call centers that contact U.S. owners of property in those two cities, as well as other areas popular with North American retirees, including Acapulco. 

Click here to read the complete original article by Steve Fisher for USA TODAY


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