Hacienda Matapalo was the much anticipated development project located along the shores of Playa Matapalo in Costa Rica’s southern portion of the country on the Pacific side.
The dream of a sustainable, eco-friendly mega community began to unfold sometime in 2007. But the culmination of years of expensive and sometimes romanticized marketing campaigns, would ultimately leave Hacienda Matapalo naked in front of the world.
What’s on the minds of many investors is: what happened to the dream of lush jungles, waterfall villas, lakeside condos and homes that stared out over the Pacific Ocean?
Was it all an illusion or a case of severe mismanagement?
CBS Miami ran a short piece covering the Hacienda Matapalo story and what they would uncover would further enforce the idea that it was all an illusion – a mirage – of the unattainable dream many Americans thirst for.
“I didn’t lose anything yet,” said a confident Bernadine Dest, a 68-year-old occupational therapist who’d invested $30,000 of her own retirement savings in the Hacienda Matapalo project.
However like so many before her, Bernadine Dest would discover otherwise when CBS would uncovered that her money – that she’d thought was deposited in a secure escrow account – was immediately withdrawn by Hacienda Matapalo officials.
“I’m sick, I’m sick,” Dest said, holding back tears during a follow-up interview with CBS Miami. “This was for my grandkids.”
So, the question is…was the emperor wearing any clothes at all?
While investors search for answers, an isolated group of them have begun to come together through some very astute lawyers in Costa Rica.
The senior lawyer spearheading this collaboration of investors is Gonzalo Gutierrez – a seasoned attorney specializing in corporate law and crimes involving the misappropriation of funds within corporate entities.
Mr. Gutierrez represents such affluent corporations such as Nike, Blackberry and Levi’s.
“We continue to receive calls from Hacienda Matapalo investors each day. We feel that we have some viable options worthy of consideration with respect to investors and encourage anyone who’s invested in Hacienda Matapalo to contact us.” said Carla Amador – a Costa Rica lawyer collaboratively working on the case with Gonzalo Gutierrez.
According to documented statements by UTA Capital LLC. – the financial investment group who foreclosed the property in early 2012 – the intention appears to be, to put permits and titles in the hands of investors. This remains to be seen however it has been confirmed that all the required documents have been filed with the proper authorities with respect to the land in question at Hacienda Matapalo.
The difficulties lie with the proverbial staple rule of any legal process…following the money.
With approximately half a dozen companies having involvement in the development, following the money can prove difficult.
One can only imagine that if what the surface is showing us – the underbelly might get a little slicker.
A formidable problem for investors is that, if they do not move quickly, they could find themselves with a far smaller window of opportunity to regain their money given the fact that the current owners of the land (UTA Capital LLC) do not have any legal obligation whatsoever to honor the previous owner (Pegasus Star Limited) contracts.
It is expected that over the coming weeks as investors unite with the assistance of AG Abogados, this likely could become a lot more interesting as investors of Hacienda Matapalo measure their current legal standing.
For more information on AG Abogados and Hacienda Matapalo investor rights, visit their web site at – www.ag-abogados.net or contact them directly using the following contact information.
Phone: +506 2257-0006 (Costa Rica)
Fax: +506 2258-1535
USA/Canada: (305) 671-3768