Searching Web for a Private Investigator in Costa Rica? Caution!

Caution When Searching Web for a Private Investigator in Costa Rica

Searching the web for a private investigator Costa Rica? Caution! See sites that say they are the “premier” private investigation agency in Costa Rica? Others that say, “we are the only American-owned, full-time agency located in Costa Rica? (Actually, one such claim is completely false as the principal was deported and now resides in Nicaragua, and, is forbidden to re-enter Costa Rica.) Or declaring that “our private investigator possess decades of experience in Federal Law Enforcement, Military Special Forces, Investigations, and Personal Protection?” Perhaps other sites that say “Investigations & Intelligence services in Costa Rica 30+ YEARS OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR EXPERIENCE”. All claims without substance. One such company is a referral source out of Los Angeles that does not identify the private investigators. 

CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION!

First of all I am an American and my full time job is dedicated to private investigations in Costa Rica. Secondly, I can verify my credentials. Others can’t or won’t. Searching for a reliable, trustworthy and affordable private investigator is a challenge. First, most clients looking for these types of services have very little information upon which to make a decision. Secondly, clients usually don’t have any idea of what to ask or look for when searching for a private investigator. Thirdly, most clients are unsure what it takes to have a successful investigation and feel guilty inquiring about such services.

A Private Investigator that is Reliable and Trustworthy is Challenging

Just because someone touts his phenomenal exploits and experience, there is no clearing house to prove or disprove such outlandish claims. For example; “decades of Federal experience”, “expert witness in Federal Court”, ‘ U.S. Trained forensic expert”, all such claims are ambiguous and without foundation. Most of the former law enforcement men and women that are private investigators know that being a Federal Agent does not in any way prepare you for the real world of private investigations. First, Federal Agents have at their disposal unlimited resources and budgets. It’s nothing for the government to assign 50 or 60 agents to one case. Each branch of the Federal Law enforcement has very specialized areas of investigations and the agents assigned to those areas are not permitted to work outside their assigned division. Thus, if an agent is assigned to forensics such as computers, blood types or fingerprints, what training and knowledge does he have to conduct a surveillance with limited resources and budget? Secondly, being an expert witness is at the sole discretion of the Court. If someone is deemed an expert witness on ballistics, what does this mean if the case being investigated is child custody?

It has been my pleasure to work with numerous Federal agents. They are professional and absolutely the best at the specialty they investigate. However, it has been my experience that they make less than average private investigators. Most Federal agents that retire find work in the corporate sector, which like the government has an abundance of resources and financial allocations to carry out their missions. Most private investigations involve individuals with limited resource and budgets.

There cannot be enough emphasis put on the actual physical location of the private investigator. If you call or request a blind quote and you get an immediate response without the private investigator asking you about the location and circumstances surrounding the investigation, something is “rotten in Denmark”. Each case is uniquely different and requires different resources for different situations. Someone here knows this and will ask for details in order to determine what needs to be done to have a successful investigation.

Someone who lives, for example in Nicaragua, Panama or the United States, has little if any control over the resources needed to conduct a successful investigation. Thus, it is essential that you use someone who is physically here. The others will prove to unprofessional and the results you get will be less than satisfactory.

Are You Visiting Costa Rica Warning

Are You Visiting Costa Rica? Warning

WarningAre you Visiting Costa Rica? Warning; violent crime has reached an all time high here. 2015 saw nearly 600 murders as opposed to 378 deaths in automobile accidents. This beautiful country has been mired with an onslaught of murders that seem uncontrolled. Although the authorities are aware and alarmed at the increase, they lack the infrastructure to adequately respond. This is not to criticize the government here, but merely a statement of fact.

 

Costa Rica Not Prepared

Costa Rica prison situation, overcrowded, poorly managed and woefully under financed has led the government to release back into the population hundreds of convicted criminals. This in combination with the expanding narco trafficking and influx of Mexican gang members is fueling the homicide rate. The majority of murders involve Costa Ricans.

Murders of Foreign Nationals Rise

However, the indiscriminate murder of foreign nationals is on the rise as well. Recently two Dutch nationals along with their woker were bound and executed at their propety in Punterenas. Other examples include a brutal attack on another Dutch national who operates a small bed and breakfast, where 3 Mexican guests attacked and tried to strangle her to death.

The police here are underfunded and despite their best efforts they struggle to identify and capture violent criminals. Even when they do the chances of the suspect remaining in jail are slim. Costa Rica has no capital punishment for murderers. Prison sentences are short lived with the violent criminals serving only a small portion of their sentences.

My advice is to always be aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks while visiting this tropical paradise. Do not take your security for granted. Don’t travel alone if possible. Maintain contact with loved ones back home and tell them your activities as well as posting on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. For example, post a picture of your hotel and rental car. In the event something does happen, you have left valuable information to follow.

I know that most don’t want to think about bad things that can happen when travelling to a foreign country, but today it is necessary to exercise caution wherever you go.

 

Why you shouldn’t throw out your boarding pass

Never discard your boarding pass

CG logoWhenever we fly, it’s a necessity to have a boarding pass to board the airplane.

We protect them with our lives to make sure we have it readily available, but what do we usually do with them once the flight’s over?? Some leave it on the airplane; others tuck it in their pockets and put it down: others leave in the back of the seat in front of them when the exit the airplane, forgetting their whereabouts once we are done with them. I never realized that being so careless with the whereabouts of my boarding pass could potentially get me into so much trouble!

The reason? According to ‘Krebs on Security”, there’s a ton of personal information encrypted on the boarding pass. Once someone gets a screen shot of the bar code on the boarding pass you’ll be shocked at how much an unscrupulous person can discover about you: personal email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers. From there, they can gain access to financial and banking information. Watch the video below and learn about the risks and damage you face by being careless with your boarding pass.

https://youtu.be/jM4_iz3RqE8

Take precautions to protect your boarding pass

In this day and age of perpetual technological advances and the unlimited use of smart phones your personal information is under constant bombardment from the bad guys.

Even digitally copied on your own cell phone or tablet puts you at risk of it being scanned and all of your personal information is available to the person making the search.

The best advice is that you keep it in your possession until after the flight and then when you return to your home or office make sure it is destroyed. Don’t put it in the trash and never post it to your social media.

 

 

Real Estate Fraud Plagues Costa Rica

Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud

Fraud Real EstateReal Estate fraud plagues Costa Rica with the announcement that police arrested four persons in connection with a $50 million dollar Real Estate fraud. According to numerous news sources the four arrested are lawyers and notaries. In Costa Rica all notaries have to be licensed attorneys. The paperwork that routinely passes through National Registry must be notarized. Since most land purchases are purchased in a Costa Rica Corporation. Generally, attorneys are given power of attorneys over the transactions. In contrast to the United States, a notary cannot notarize a negotiable instrument or conveyance to which he is a party. Here that is not the case. With that kind of power, it is easy and tempting to do something less than honest or correct. In this particular case according to the news source, the victim is an elderly German woman who appears to have lost ownership of her properties in southern Costa Rica due to inappropriate paperwork. Although the accused have yet to be identified the police are saying that have arrested a 61-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man in Alajuelita.

Also arrested were a 37-year-old woman in Cartago and a 60-year-old man in Coronado. According to police documents the crimes allegedly happened between 2010 and 2012.

Real Estate Fraud 2The two persons arrested in Alajuelita are also notaries but are not active now. The pair is charged with improperly administering the woman’s property in Punta Uva and Bahía Ballena, which is located in the southwestern area of the country. According to police documents, both had access to $5 million in cash.
The suspects that were arrested lived in Cartago and Coronado and are active notaries. Police said that they assisted in the creation of 19 corporations that play a role in the fraud. Police alleged that the suspects tricked the elderly woman into signing papers so that she lost the properties.
Agents also reported that when they searched the offices of the suspects they found two unregistered pistols.

American in Costa Rica Based Fruad Goes to Jail

Real Estate FraudAn American in Costa Rica based fruad goes to jail according to the US Justice Department. An America citizen charged in connection with the operation of a series of fraudulent business opportunities based in Costa Rica was sentenced to prison on Wednesday in Miami, the Justice Department announced.

John White, aka Gregory Garrett, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz of the Southern District of Florida to serve 70 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  White was also ordered to pay $6,412,006.19 in restitution.  White is one of 12 defendants charged in connection with a series of business opportunity fraud ventures that operated in Costa Rica.  Nine of those other defendants have been convicted in the United States with sentences ranging from three to 16 years in prison and the two remaining defendants are not yet in the custody of the United States.

“The defendants in this scheme promised victims the American dream while knowing they in fact were being ripped off,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “We will continue to prosecute those who would deprive Americans of their savings just so they can make a quick buck.”

White was indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami on Nov. 29, 2011, arrested in Costa Rica in 2012, extradited to the United States in 2015 and pleaded guilty on April 29, 2015, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with the business opportunity scheme.

As part of his guilty plea, White admitted that from 2005 to 2008, he and his co-conspirators fraudulently induced individuals in the United States to buy business opportunities in USA Beverages Inc., Twin Peaks Gourmet Coffee Inc., Cards-R-Us Inc., Premier Cards Inc. and The Coffee Man Inc.  White and his co-conspirators claimed that these opportunities would allow purchasers to sell coffee or greeting cards from display racks located at other retail establishments.  The business opportunities cost thousands of dollars each, with most purchasers paying at least $10,000.  Each company operated for several months and after one company closed, the next opened. This information was obtained from ICR.

Breaking news on Barbara Sturncova

Breaking news on Barbara Sturncova

Missing Person BarbaraBarbara Sturrncova who went missing five years ago is in the news again. Apparently her male companion, William Ulner, was arrested today while attempting to board an airplane with his new bride by the FBI. He was arrested for using a fraudulent passport.  In the past, there has been much speculation about Ulner and the role he played in Sturncova’s disappearance. No one has seen or hear from Sturncova since her disappearance and none of her bank cards have been used.

We wrote a cold case article about her and others that have mysteriously  vanished into thin air never to be seen or heard from again. Fox 31 in Denver is reporting the story. There have been several people who have tried unsuccessfully to find Sturncova but have run into dead ends.

The information we have received is that Ulner recently married and was at the airport leaving for his honeymoon when the FBI nabbed him. Information on his new wife and other information concerning his arrest has not been disclosed.

Someone is Missing in Costa Rica

If someone is missing in Costa Rica, do not waste any time initiating an investigation. The longer you delay, the greater the chances that they may never be found.

Missing personI have had several calls to investigate the disappearance of people who were visiting Costa Rica and all of them have failed to find the missing person. The main reason for this was the lack of effort from the earliest known moment that the person went missing. Unlike the United States where there are all kinds of alerts for missing or endangered people, Costa Rica has no viable system in place to alert people of the missing person.

Why it is Important to Report someone missing in Costa Rica Immediately

Almost everyone here is busy scratching out a living and really do not have time to stop what they are doing to volunteer for a search. Such was the case recently when a woman came up missing in Guanacaste under suspicious circumstances. We were not retained until three weeks after the initial disappearance.

Having prior law enforcement experience I know the value of early response to a reported missing person. Because of earlier response time to such reports many of the missing were located. The others who were found to be the victims of a crime, the earlier response assisted in bringing those responsible to justice to answer for their deeds.

In Costa Rica the law enforcement is understaffed and under resourced. They lack the adequate resources and equipment to undertake a search for a missing person. Much of Costa Rica is endowed with lush tropical forest and jungles that lure many inexperienced and novice hikers to explore their beauty. Unaware of the lack of communication once in these areas and being poorly equipped, many of the best hikers get lost.

 

Dangers in the jungles range from Jaguars to over thirty nine species of poisonous snakes, not to mention crocodiles and scorpions. Medical response and medical facilities are spread out and it could take hours in some instance to get to a medical facility. Once there of course, there is a concern that they will have the necessary equipment and staff to treat the injury.

Thus the need to report a missing person and contact someone here in Costa Rica to start looking for that person will play a vital part in finding and returning the missing person.

Costa Rica Fraud Alert: Private Property Registry in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Fraud Alert:

Private Property Registry in Costa Rica (PPR)

Real Estate FraudWe here at Cody L. Gear and Associates, have learned of a service provided to owners of private property in Costa Rica. The name of this service is Private Property Registry (PPR) and currently protects over 15,000 properties in Costa Rica.

 

 

How PPR Works

According to information we obtained from Fijatevos.com each night the PPR robot connects to the National Registry’s data feed and downloads the day’s transactions. Once the data is generated, the company’s software takes over, and the data is analyzed and compared to the previous day’s snapshot. By 1:30 am a report is generated detailing any change whatsoever to any property related to one the company’s clients. At 5:30 am this report is reviewed by the company’s legal department. Each change is analyzed to determine whether it is innocuous or whether it represents a possible threat to the client. On average, about 90 changes are detected and 1 is deemed a threat to be taken seriously.

At this point, the PPR legal team notifies the client by email, telephone or fax. The client can specify the preferred method of contact, or also additional contacts – such as the client’s personal lawyer. At this point the client will confirm that it is a legitimate change, for example they have taken out a loan or sold the property. If the change is not authorized, the client or PPR can take action immediately.

Registry Procedures Explained

How You and PPR Can Use Them to Protect Your Property from Changes

The National Registry is required by law to follow certain procedures when updating their records. The first step is that a lawyer, or their assistant, will present documents requesting the change to the registry. Upon this presentation a notation is made on the property records regarding the proposed change.

The following step in the process is for a registry bureaucrat to review the documents presented to determine if they are valid and if there are any errors in the descriptions or clauses. If they are deemed valid and correct, then the change is approved and entered into the registry. A key factor here is that by law a change may not be submitted and approved the same day. While normally there is a 7 to 10 day delay in this process, when schemers and shysters have obtained cooperation from an unscrupulous registry employee, then the changes are pushed through rapidly.

The PPR system takes advantage of this mandated time delay. The automated software reports annotations overnight. This means that if a change is recorded or noted, the property owner or PPR may submit a document opposing the change the same business day, which will effectively freeze the process and obligate the registry to determine the validity of the documents that were submitted requesting the change.

PPR Services and Pricing

The PPR offers 2 types of service. The first level is called Monitor and Notify, which costs $143 per year. You, and anyone you specify, will be notified in the event of any change to your property. The notification is sent by email, fax and telephone as soon as the PPR legal department determines that there is a problem. If you have more than one property in Costa Rica, you can get a package that will monitor up to 8 properties for $384 per year.

The higher level service is called Maximum Security, and includes the first level plus an automatic procedure for stopping the transaction in the registry. It costs $250 annually. When you activate this service, you sign a power of attorney that allows the PPR legal department to file a prepared statement in the registry on your behalf. The statement opposes any change to your property information in the registry, which effectively stops the transaction. Once this document is filed, the registry is required to investigate both claims and provide additional documentation for proceeding with the change. In the case of fraudulent claim, this alone will stop the perpetrators cold.

For more information concerning and other services available to protect your investments in Costa Rica,call Cody L Gear and Associates at 321-218-9209

Finding a Person, Place or Thing in Costa Rica

Persons, Places and Things in Costa Rica

information logo 1Finding a Person, Place or Thing in Costa Rica? Hunting for a missing person, or simply trying to locate someone? Need to find an address or asset in Costa Rica? Whatever the reasons are for looking, you have come to the right place for fast, reliable, trustworthy and affordable professional help in locating someone. Searching for a location in Costa Rica? A bigger challenge than most realize. Trying to recover an asset? Costa Rica is rife with fraud and the laws here actually help the scammers hide assets.  There are many reasons why you may need to locate someone, find a place or locate a thing. We will help you do so.

We are not a “People Finder Instant Search” database company that provides you with old, outdated public record information. We are a professional private investigation agency physically located in Costa Rica (Not Nicaragua) that specializes in finding people, quickly and cost effectively. We have access to data, resources and other information that allow us to get you the result you want, not excuses. Why pay someone who is not here to find information you already have? When you work with the private investigators in our firm, you will find that the more information you have about the target, the less it will cost you. Our basic locate investigations take as little as two hours of investigative time and fewer than 50% take more than that amount to complete. Of course verification of the location and identifying the target as being there has added costs.

Obviously, some people are more difficult to locate than others.  Costa Rica is known as the land of the wanted and the unwanted. Those wanted by law enforcement, hiding from creditors, drug users and others require more work to locate than the average person. We encourage you to tell us as much as possible about the person we are trying to locate ahead of time so we can give you an accurate perspective about the time and cost required. As the most trusted private investigator in Costa Rica we have reunited adoptees with birth parents, locate people that are in need of medical assistance and tragically locate missing persons, either the victim of a drowning or of a crime.

We have investigated the disappearance of people due to suspicious circumstances and the recovery of the remains when they have fell victim to a crime or a drowning. It is reported that there are more deaths here from drowning than from automobile accidents. The Government here is not user friendly and getting assistance to look for someone is difficult at best.

What makes our missing person and people locate services stand out from the crowd?

  • Our firm is a Private Investigator Agency, not a database search company
  • We provide 50 years of professional experience and judgment
  • We tell you where all of information we provide came from
  • There will be an actual investigator to speak with about your locate investigation
  • Our locate investigations are conducted by investigators, not databases.
  • You will be given a detailed report of our findings
  • Our relationship with you is strictly CONFIDENTIAL

If you find that you need more than just a simple locate or person search, our background check services will give you all the information you will need about someone’s background. Our firm is a full service private detective agency able to bring the full assets of our agency, with international and domestic resources, to the table.

Missing Persons in Costa Rica

What to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Missing personLocating missing persons in Costa Rica is much different from methods and techniques used in the United States. There are numerous people that have gone missing in Costa Rica and have to date have not been found. It is important that if you find yourself in this situation, you understand that the authorities here neither have the resources or the motivation to find the missing person. The one thing that is absolutely necessary is get someone involved to start looking for the missing person. The longer the time the greater the chance that the person will not be located. Here are some tips.

 

1st Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

The first thing you should do in locating missing persons in Costa Rica is to report the incident to your local law enforcement agency. When you do so give them as much information as humanly possible. Although the local law enforcement agency will have little to lend to the search and recovery of the missing person, it is one of the first things that the American Embassy in Costa Rica will ask you. Do not delay in making the missing person report to the police. All of the cases that we have handled have had considerable time lapse between the disappearance and reporting the person missing. Each moment that passes with nothing being initiated to locate the persons further reduces the chances of the person being found.

2nd Thing to do in Locating Missing Persons in Costa Rica

Call the American Embassy in Costa Rica. If you are calling from the States dial 011-506-2519-2000 and ask for extension 2453. Alternatively if it is after business hours or the weekend, send an email to acssanjose@state.gov and provide all of the information about the missing person including but not limited to; photographs, flight itinerary, hotel reservation, date of arrival, anticipated date of departure, photographs, and the reason you suspect the person is missing.

3rd Thing to do

It is necessary that the missing person be reported as missing to the Judicial Police in Costa Rica. They are commonly referred to as OIJ. If you call them be prepared to have someone who speaks Spanish as there are no resources for English. The Costa Rica Law requires that an immediate member of the missing persons family report the incident. They will not accept the missing person report from a third party. This must be done in person by the immediate family member. Thus be prepared to make arrangements for the immediate family member to travel to Costa Rica to make the report.

Alternatively, an immediate family member can go to the nearest Costa Rica Consulate and report the person missing. They will need the same information as previously outlined for the American Embassy. This will further delay the missing person investigation as the bureaucracy of the Costa Rica government moves slowly.

The Last thing to do

Probably the most important of all is do not procrastinate in reporting the missing persons in Costa Rica. Also, equally important retain the services of a professional and reliable private investigator to begin searching immediately.  The longer the time in retaining the services of such a professional only means that the trail will colder by the minute. Years of experience has taught me that it is imperative to get on this search as soon as possible.