Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Taken by Colorful Con Man, Texan Says

HOUSTON (CN) - A Texan claims a friendly neighbor near his second home in Mexico - who turned out to be a fugitive money launderer - fleeced him of $5 million by claiming his company "owned free and clear a major beachfront land development ... in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico that was to become 'the next Cancun.'"

Paul Hudson claims that after he handed over the money, he learned that his neighbor, who introduced himself as Tom Brown, was actually a fugitive named Harris Dempsey "Butch" Ballow, who had a history of ripping off investors and had pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2003, then fled the United States to duck his sentence.

Ballow claimed he controlled E-Sol International Corporation, and that E-Sol and its subsidiary International Country Club Corp. owned a beachfront parcel in Quintana Roo, Mexico, Hudson says in his complaint in Harris County Curt.

But "In fact, the land owned by E-Sol and ICCC is at least 30 miles from the coast," according to the complaint.

The two corporations are named as defendants. Ballow is not. But Hudson claims Ballow gave him false financial statements that enabled the corporations to pull off the con.

"Another misrepresentation that Mr. Ballow, on behalf of E-Sol and ICCC, made to Mr. Hudson was that another wholly owned E-Sol subsidiary named J.G. Capital Corp. ('JGGC') had a $50 million net worth comprised of marketable securities in publicly traded companies, cash and real estate holdings," Hudson claims. "In fact, JGCC was just another shell company being used by Ballow and his henchmen to fleece investors."

Hudson says he agreed to buy 2.5 million shares of E-Sol securities for $5 million based on Ballow's claims.

"Within days of the wire transfer, Mr. Ballow disappeared from Puerto Aventuras," the town where he and Ballow lived, Hudson says. "Approximately three months later, Mr. Ballow reappeared near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he lived in a luxurious golf resort under the name Martin Twinley (also sometimes written as Twynley and other times as Twengly) until he was arrested by Mexican federal police on July 13, 2010 and placed in a prison cell in Mexico City to await extradition to the United States of America." (Parentheses in complaint.)

Hudson says he subsequently learned that Ballow aka John Gel aka Melvyn John Gelsthorpe "had acquired control over E-Sol and sold millions of shares of E-Sol stock to unsuspecting investors and also taken money from people who thought they were buying land and ownership interests in a resort development near Cancun, Mexico."

Ballow and five associates have been indicted for their "E-Sol related conduct," according to the complaint.

Hudson sued E-Sol International Corp. and International Country Club Corp., SRL de CV for fraud, and seeks to recover his $5 million investment.

He is represented by Charlie Henke of Houston.

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