Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mexican Consulate In Chicago Confirms U.S. Businesses Legalizing Vehicles To Import Into Mexico Is Fraud

In December 2009, Chicago's Legalizaciones Mexicano at 3121 W. 26 St. closed and a sign on door said "Oficinas cerradas, no hay información a donde se movieron", Offices closed, no information where they moved. Offices were located in La Villita business sector.

The Mexican Consulate confirms that businesses in the U.S. promoting and charging for legalizing vehicles from the U.S. to be temporaryly or permanently imported into Mexico is fraud, only Mexican Customs at the border crossings are authorized to do so.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 22, 2010

Chicago, IL - On Wednesday, the Mexican Consulate of Chicago released a press release confirming that businesses and agencies in the U.S. promoting the temporary and permanent legalization of vehicles into Mexico is fraud. The Mexican Consulate says only Mexican Custom agents at the border crossings are authorized to legalize vehicles to be imported into Mexico. Legalization costs should be paid at the border crossing by people importing the vehicle. The legalization payments and required permits will be handled by the Mexican Custom agents working for the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP) at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Vehicles with less than 600 miles will be allowed to be imported to Mexico and used vehicles between 10-15 years old and only models made in the U.S. and Canada are allowed.
Since August 2009, the Chicago Mexican Consulate states that they had been working with the Illinois State Attorney General's Office concerning citizen complaints of the Legalización Mexicano business operation committing fraud, especially in Chicago.
On Tuesday, the Illinois Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit as a form of a complaint alleging Legalización Mexicano was a vehicle legalizing scam operation and is seeking $50,000 in penalties against business owner Agustin Acosta-Valdez. The complaint states, that at least 50 customers of Chicago's Legalización Mexicano business in La Villita neigborhood had filed a complain with the state claiming they had paid between $350 to $5,200 totaling $79,000 for documents, permits and license plates from Mexico, which later turned out fraudulent. It is not clear, if Acosta-Valdez will face criminal charges. 
In December 2009, Hispanic News Network U.S.A. from Milwaukee, Wisconsin first broke the news of the inter-state operation of Legalización Mexicano committing alleged Mexican document and license fraud. The businesses shortly after shut down operations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Waukegan and Chicago, Illinois. At least ten Legalización Mexicano businesses were operated by Acosta-Valdez. Acosta-Valdez sold through Legalización Mexicano numerous Mexican license plates and import permits charging customers between $1,500 to $3,000 and even more for documents and Mexican license plates who wanted their vehicles imported into Mexico.
Once the customers tried to enter Mexico, Mexican Custom agents confiscated vehicles. They were threaten to be arrested and could face charges, including hefty fines after the license plates and import permits issued by Legalización Mexicano were discovered to be false and had been used previously by other vehicles. The Legalización Mexicano customers would lose between $1,500 and up to $6,000 in total costs, but were later able to legalized their vehicles at the border.
When they complained to employees at Legalización Mexicano, they were ignored or promised refunds, which were never made.Other businesses throughout the country promote the legalization of vehicles intended to be imported into Mexico, which now the Mexican government says it's illegal and this businesses should be reported to the nearest Mexican Consulate. 
If you were a victim, the Mexican Consulate in Chicago provided the following number 312-738-2023 to call and file a complain with the Consulate General and Department of Protection. Victims can also call the Illinois Attorney General's Office to file a complain at 1-866-310-8398.

Mexican Consulate in Chicago press release in Spanish concerning fraud committed by vehicle legalization businesses in the U.S. promoting the legalization of vehicles to import into Mexico. Internet link

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