Some 158 Americans based in San Miguel de Allende lost their savings after suffering a robbery by Monex Casa de Bolsa settled in that city Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In total it is estimated that the banker Marcela Zavala Taylor, daughter of former Mayor Manuel Zavala and Monex officer, was able to steal around 40 million dollars from 158 Americans who entrusted their savings and who allegedly had to be in Monex accounts.
At the end of December, Kathy Machir called Marcela Zavala Taylor, her nine-year banker at Monex Casa de Bolsa, in Mexico, to obtain cash for the contractors who build her retirement home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
Zavala usually sent money or dispatched his assistant, Juan, on his motorcycle with an envelope full of pesos.
The transfer did not happen. Juan did not show up, Zavala did not answer the calls, and Kathy and Jim Machir discovered that their savings had disappeared.
Monex, with 5,200 million dollars and operations in the United States, was integrated into the lives of the Machir and the other 10 thousand Americans who live in San Miguel de Allende.
When the Machir and other San Miguel expatriates met with Monex officials in early January, the bankers told some of them that there were about $ 40 million missing from the 158 accounts, many of them belonging to English-speaking Americans. .
A dozen people interviewed by Bloomberg News claim that the bank account statements that Zavala sent them with the intention of showing the complete accounts apparently were falsified.
Most indicate that the bank has told them little since they filed the complaints, and some say that Monex tried to make them settle for much less than the balances owed.
“When they told us we had 6 pesos in our accounts, I just felt sick to my stomach,” said Kathy Machir.
For the most part retired, they have to navigate a society with less legal and financial protections than they would in the United States.
Fraud is becoming more common, said Kevin Carr, founder of financial technology firm Finiden in Washington, DC, and formerly the chief representative of the Treasury Department in Mexico.
Monex said in a statement that it is investigating the accusations against Zavala.
“The legal action continues in the case and the details can not be revealed so as not to hinder the investigation,” he said.
The spokeswoman, Eva Gutiérrez, said in a statement that the bank is working with clients and an agreement has been reached with 70 percent.
Zavala, who worked for Monex for 20 years, became the banker chosen by San Miguel by winning expatriates with promises of high returns on accounts that, according to her, were denominated in dollars and immune from peso fluctuations.
She is the daughter of former Mayor Manuel Zavala and his wife born in Texas, an agent of Christie’s International Real Estate.
Alysann Posner, former vice president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange who lives in San Miguel, says she had trouble obtaining her timely Monex account statements since she opened her account four years ago.
On December 18, he tried to transfer his funds to another bank, but when the transfer was not made quickly he started making calls.
Monex revealed that his account and that of his mother, who is 86 years old, was reduced to almost nothing.
Posner says that Monex has offered him approximately 60 percent of what he believes is owed to him and that he is suing Monex in the Mexican courts.