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A civil lawsuit in the US exposes the real estate wealth of Ines Gomez Mont and her husband

Ines Gomez Mont and her husband Victor Manuel Alvarez Puga.social media

The Mexican television host Ines Gomez Mont and her husband, the tax lawyer Victor Manuel Alvarez Puga, have been missing for more than a year fleeing from the Justice of their country, which is looking for them for organized crime and money laundering. Interpol has issued a red file for its location in dozens of countries. The mystery has been solved by another run-in between the couple with the courts, this time in the United States. Both face a civil lawsuit before a Florida Court for the debt of a mortgage loan of more than four million dollars that they acquired in July 2021. Documentation of the trial reveals that, as a guarantee of payment, Gomez Mont and Alvarez Puga left a pledge two properties located in the counties of Miami and Palm Beach, which add up to a value of 11.3 million dollars (about 219.3 million pesos). The documents reviewed by EL PAIS show that both characters live in Florida, where they have a real estate fortune, while in Mexico the authorities consider them fugitives from justice.

House located in the Town & Ranch Estates neighborhood, in Miami, purchased for 6.3 million dollars in July 2021.
House located in the Town & Ranch Estates neighborhood, in Miami, purchased for 6.3 million dollars in July 2021.Zillow

Gomez Mont and Alvarez Puga requested a mortgage loan for 4.4 million dollars (about 85.4 million pesos) on July 29, 2021 from the firm Chemtov Mortgage Group Corp. To process it, they used the companies Casa Mia Pinecrest Corp ., headquartered in the State of Delaware —classified as a tax haven within the US—, and 4985 Stables LLC, incorporated in Miami. In the loan documentation, Gomez Mont signs as president of the company Casa Mia Pinecrest. On behalf of 4985 Stables LLC, Jonathan Choghi, a figurehead for Alvarez Puga who had already been involved in another real estate transaction for the couple in the US: the purchase of the house that belonged to the American singer and actress Cher in Miami Beach, signed as administrator. and for which they paid 15.5 million dollars, as documented by the portal Political Animal.

The companies formed by the couple are the owners of the two properties that were mortgaged. One of them is a 1,170-square-meter house located in the exclusive Town & Ranch Estates neighborhood, in Miami County, and it has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, a movie theater and a gym. The purchase was made through the firm Casa Mia Pinecrest Corp. on July 28, 2021 —one day before the mortgage loan application— at a price of 6.3 million dollars. The second property is a 1,190-square-meter house located in the town of Wellington, in Palm Beach County, which has its own swimming pool and horse riding area. This property was acquired through the company 4985 Stables LLC in April 2019 for an amount of almost five million dollars.

House located in Palm Beach, Florida, acquired at a price of almost five million dollars in 2019.
House located in Palm Beach, Florida, acquired at a price of almost five million dollars in 2019.Zillow

The firm that made the mortgage loan for the couple transferred the debt to Miami Wellington LLC, which is the one that filed the civil lawsuit against Gomez Mont, Alvarez Puga and their two companies in May of this year, when the deadlines for the payment of the debt. Miami Wellington LLC initially demanded that the judge execute the mortgage contract and allow it to take over the two properties to sell them and recover the money committed. However, on August 18, the plaintiff firm notified the Court that it had contacted the debtors, with whom it signed a mortgage forbearance agreement.

The agreement consisted of setting December 31 as the new final date to cover the debt in several payments. Miami Wellington LLC indicated that, up to that moment, the debtors had complied with the fixed payments —without specifying the amount—, which shows that Gomez Mont and Alvarez Puga are taking steps to retain their real estate assets in Florida, while in Mexico are required by justice for a millionaire embezzlement from public coffers. This newspaper tried to establish communication with the couple through an intermediary who sent them a request for an interview, but this was not met.

First page of the civil complaint.
First page of the civil complaint.The country

The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) accused Gomez Mont, her husband and his brother, Alejandro Alvarez Puga, of leading a network of shell companies through which almost 3,000 million pesos (about 154.2 million) were diverted dollars) of the budget of the Ministry of the Interior when its head was Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, today a Senator of the Republic for the PRI. The investigation showed that the resources, which were to be used to make improvements to the country’s prisons, were transferred to “invoicing” companies —which have no infrastructure or staff, but pretend to provide services— through simulated contracting. These front companies, in turn, transferred the money to other billing companies with which they carried out almost 1,500 banking operations in order to erase the trail of resources. The Prosecutor’s Office accuses that part of the laundered money had the couple’s bank accounts as their final destination. A Nov. 9 ruling struck down the tax evasion charges. The rest is still valid.

By the time the FGR obtained the arrest warrant against Gomez Mont and Alvarez Puga for diversion of resources, money laundering and organized crime, in September 2021, and then the red file from Interpol, in October, the couple was no longer in Mexico, but in Florida, where they had also already obtained the mortgage loan of 4.4 million dollars.

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