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Lawmaker urges probes of property fraud in Mexico

In this 2019 file photo, Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake, addresses his colleagues in the Legislature. (Photo by Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services)

An outgoing state representative is calling for the Attorney General’s Office and state law enforcement to investigate fraud claims from Arizona residents who have purchased property in Mexico and allege Mexican government officials are involved.  

Waves Rolling in at Sandy Beach, Rocky Point, Mexico (Deposit Photos)

At a November 7 press conference, Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake, said two of his constituents, Rick Hatch and Julie Hatch, bought property in Puerto Peñasco in 2009 that was illegally transferred to another party without the Hatches’ consent. The Hatches reportedly provided evidence that the fraudulent transactions involve Puerto Peñasco Mayor Jorge Ivan Pivac Carillo. 

During the press conference, Rick Hatch said a false meeting of his corporation – Coca & Hatch Properties – was formed on June 10, 2015, to forge signatures and borrow a $300,000 loan and mortgage. That unpaid loan was used to transfer the property to Pivak Carillo. 

“I never borrowed $300,000 from anybody in Mexico. I was loaning money to people, including the developer that I got this land from,” Rick Hatch said.  

Rick Hatch owns motorcycle dealership Top Spoke and is president of Hacienda Harley-Davidson in Scottsdale. He said proving the fraud should be easy, but he and his wife are being blockaded by government authorities in Puerto Peñasco. 

A news release from Blackman said all individuals listed at the false assembly denied they were ever present at that meeting and testified their signatures were forged. One of the board members allegedly present, Mercedes Coca, died on October 8, 2008, years prior to the false assembly taking place. Another board member who was supposedly present at the meeting presented an identification card that had the name and picture of someone else, the release said. 

During the false meeting, the company’s board members purportedly appointed Roberto Trahin Rodriguez as the company’s general manager, with authority to make contracts on the company’s behalf, the release said. However, Trahin has never had any position with the Hatches’ company.  

The Hatches have been fighting for nearly seven years to reclaim their property, and their attorney in Mexico withdrew all evidence they had submitted to a court in Mexico after years of litigation, the release said. Additionally, Blakeman said that some lives have recently been threatened. 

“This is a clear and present danger to Arizonans purchasing property in that part of Mexico,” Blackman said.   

Blackman added that there are 40 claims from Arizona residents that their property in Puerto Peñasco was stolen from them by local government officials of the city.  

Specifically, Blackman wants law enforcement in the U.S. and Mexico to investigate Pivac Carillo and his dealings. The Hatches also provided evidence that shows a U.S. bank account was used to facilitate part of the transactions involving their property and Pivac Carillo has property in Arizona, Blackman said.  

While Blackman lost his primary race and won’t be in the House next session, he said he has talked to other legislators who are interested in carrying forward this issue and all of the Hatches’ evidence has been presented to the Attorney General’s Office.  

Blackman’s office is inviting any other Arizona residents who have experienced a similar situation to call 602-926-3043.   

 

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