As the owners of Hacienda Matapalo scramble to dust over their tracks with regards to any association to the now defunked development project in the Southern Zone, we have to wonder…what about the investors?
Rumors are heating up now about a pending class action regarding the property which has recently been acquired in a repossession over default on a construction loan secured by UTA Capital. (click here to view)
The Florida offices have been closed and all assets have been liquidated including canceling credit cards and telephone lines and Internet. For the most part…stick a fork in HM…they’re done!
Given the previous owners have done everything in their power to disassociate themselves from their own debauchery, we felt it would only be prudent to revive and archive what could prove to be, valuable information on just who these characters were/are…
David Matluck, Chief Executive Officer, Pegasus Star Ltda.
David Matluck, age 61, is the Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus Star Limitada, the developer of Hacienda Matapalo. He is largely responsible for bringing the idea of Hacienda Matapalo from a concept to realization.
Mr. Matluck has held a real estate license continuously for 40 years, initially from Massachusetts and more recently from the state of Florida. He has lived in Guatemala, Central America and first visited Costa Rica in 1980. Mr. Matluck received a BA in both Psychology and Philosophy from Boston University in 1978 and an MA in Human Growth & Potential from West Georgia College in 1980.
He has owned and operated many real estate related businesses over the years, beginning with developing home sites in the Florida Keys in 1980. In 1981, Mr. Matluck built an office building in Boca Raton, Florida as headquarters for his various real estate related ventures, including a licensed real estate brokerage firm, several plant nurseries, developable land in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and retail stores in Maine, Connecticut and Florida.
In 1992, Mr. Matluck formed a partnership and with his partner successfully created and managed two real estate brokerage businesses, employing more than thirty Realtors, dealing in both residential and commercial property. They have acquired land for developers and converted numerous apartments to condominiums, in addition to owning and managing hundreds of apartments and completing numerous real estate projects. Mr. Matluck has been Vice President of Investors Realty Company since 2003.
Mr. Matluck lives in a beachfront property in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is the father of two daughters, Jessica and Melissa. He is an avid fisherman and outdoorsman and began his love affair with Costa Rica thirty years ago.
Ed Sklar, Chief Operations Officer
Ed Sklar, age 61, is the Chief Marketing Officer of Pegasus Star Limitada, the developer of Hacienda Matapalo. He is largely responsible for making Hacienda Matapalo the most recognizable property in Costa Rica.
Mr. Sklar has held real estate and broker sales licenses from New York and Florida. He has lived in New York and Florida and first visited Latin America in 1980. Mr. Sklar received a Masters Degree in Management from Nova Southeastern University in 1979, and attended Baruch College of the City of New York for Marketing.
He has owned and marketed many businesses over the years, beginning with developing home sites in the Florida Keys in 1980. In 1981, Mr. Sklar built an office building in Boca Raton, Florida as headquarters for his various real estate related ventures, including a licensed real estate brokerage firm, several plant nurseries, developable land in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and retail stores in Maine, Connecticut and Florida.
Mr. Sklar became prominent in the area of marketing and public relations and has appeared behind the scenes as well as on camera with celebrities including Howard Stern, Phil Donahue, Joan Rivers, Geraldo Rivera, etc.
Before joining this group, Mr. Sklar was engaged in bringing compliance technology to the largest financial institutions in the world. The technology expertise he gained in this arena has enabled him to bring a breakthrough competitive edge to the marketing of real estate in Costa Rica.
Mr. Sklar relocated from Manhattan to Fort Lauderdale to join this project and has been Vice President of Investors Realty Company since 2003.
Mr. Sklar and his wife, Sharon, live in a beachfront property in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is the father of two daughters, Sherri and Amanda. He has traveled the world extensively and says he has never seen a property as nice as Hacienda Matapalo.
Michael Starkey, Vice President of Sales and Investments
Michael Starkey, age 41, is Chief Sales Officer and the Vice President of Sales for Pegasus Star Limitada, the developer of Hacienda Matapalo.
Mr. Starkey graduated from Hofstra University in 1991 with a BBA in Banking and Finance. Upon graduation he studied and passed the Securities and Exchange Commissions Series 7 and 63 exams and thus began his “Wall Street career.” To further round out his financial expertise, Michael also acquired several Insurance licenses and Tax Planning designations which he used to launch a successful financial planning career in his home state of New Jersey.
Upon relocating to Florida, Mr. Starkey left the world of independent financial planning and moved over to the institutional side, working for a major bank in the capacity of investment advisor for the bank’s high net worth clients. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding tax advantaged and retirement account planning. Michael has been invited to speak at seminars around the country as well as on national radio in regards to his expertise with Self Directed IRA investing. He regularly travels around the U.S. teaching people how to supercharge their IRAs and other retirement plans with the ownership of real estate within those plans.
In addition to his financial planning expertise. Mr. Starkey’s clients also benefit from his 22 years of extensive real estate experience. His real estate career dates back to his early days as a State Licensed General Real Estate Appraiser, where he developed his keen ability to detect value and predict trends. Over the last 14 years, he has partnered with Mr. Matluck in owning and operating multiple commercial and residential income properties. Michael has a world of experience in dealing with all types of properties from dilapidated and gutted foreclosures to Class A residential and commercial investment, to condo-conversion development projects.
In 2003 Mr. Starkey, David Matluck, Brian Albury and another associate formed Investors Realty Company which employs more than 30 Realtors specializing in both residential and commercial property.
Currently Mr. Starkey resides in Fort Lauderdale with his wife Melissa and young children, Gavin and Ashlyn. He is an avid scuba diver and really appreciates the outdoors. Michael and family intend to relocate to Costa Rica as he and Melissa have concluded it is an “all around healthier environment” in which to raise a family.
Brian Albury, Executive Vice President
Brian Albury, age 42, is Executive Vice President of Pegasus Star Limitada. His focus is on Sales and Design. His background is in Architecture. Brian did his undergraduate work at Auburn University and the University of Miami. His Real Estate specialty is commercial investment property.
His architectural studies took him to such places as Austria, Germany, Italy, Sicily, Greece and Turkey. He even participated in the restoration project at the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
Mr. Albury officially began his Real Estate career in 1987 when he first became licensed as a Real Estate Salesperson. He’s been a licensed Mortgage Broker since 1994 and is now a NAR certified “Green” Real Estate Broker. With more than 20 years in the business, his experience and knowledge are substantial, contributing to the overall structure at Hacienda Matapalo. Brian works closely with Architect Miguel Wong with all matters involving design at Hacienda Matapalo.
Mr. Albury is a seasoned Real Estate investor and has owned and operated residential and commercial properties from Miami, Florida to Boca Raton, Florida. Before partnering with this group in 2001, Mr. Albury personally owned and operated nearly one hundred residential rental units throughout the South Florida area.
Mr. Albury lives in Boca Raton, Florida and is the father of two children, Connor and Amanda. He is an avid diver, Youth Athletics coach and registered Volunteer with the Palm Beach County School District.
Edwin Acosta, Costa Rican Operations
Edwin Acosta, age 32, is Vice President of Site Operations for Pegasus Star Limitada. He is a native of Costa Rica, but through an exchange program he graduated from high school in Little Falls, Minnesota. He graduated from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica in 2000 with a degree in Human Resources. From 1995 through 2000, he worked for Shell Oil Company in several capacities including supervisor of their entire service station network in Costa Rica. After recovering from a debilitating car accident that occurred in 2000, he decided to transition into the real estate industry, following in the footsteps of his successful father.
Mr. Acosta has been actively involved in the real estate market in Costa Rica during the past several years of explosive growth. Edwin, at an early age began evaluating properties for development and buying and subdividing land for developers. He soon became an expert at finding properties for better known developers and opened his own realty services company specializing in land acquisitions for some of the most prominent developers in several coastal areas of the Pacific Coast and beyond and was responsible for sales of over 10,000 acres.
In late 2006, he was invited to join the management team at Pegasus Star Limitada bringing with him an extensive array of contacts in the private and governmental sectors of Costa Rica.
Mr. Acosta opened the first Internet Café in Punteranas and his extensive background in computer software has been instrumental in organizing the complex apparatus necessary to develop Hacienda Matapalo.
Mr. Acosta lives in the hills above Punteranas with his wife Lindsey who is completing her Masters Degree in on-line education and is beginning her Ph.D program as well. They have a son, “little Edwin.” Mr. & Mrs. Acosta are committed to preserving their native environment and have long been active in causes that will have positive impact on the local community and its present and future residents.
…the above information is courtesy of Google cache – for without it, the information on the original executives of the property might be forever lost given they’ve recently chosen to permanently delete any references to their persons.
Where does this leave investors? This is the real question – what about the hundreds of unsuspecting investors who put up their hard-earned cash to only one day find the gates closed and the staff evacuated back to the USA?
The project was a Goliath – boasting of over $65 million in presales and how they were the #1 best-selling Costa Rica real estate investment. And now…now where are they?
We happen to know where a few of them are and we encourage ALL INVESTORS of Hacienda Matapalo, to reach out and demand answers – where did all the money go for deposits received in the $65 million dollar roundup of presales?
Ed Sklar…remember him? The flamboyant chief operating officer and marketing mouthpiece that filled the Internet with grand promises of a beachside community that would make everyone’s dream a reality – well that guy is now trying his hand at marketing for other developers in Costa Rica and in doing so is claiming all the brilliant inbound marketing strategies of Hacienda Matapalo, as his own creations.
Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. Evidence of the mind-blowing abilities of Mr.Sklar can be found here - http://www.realestatepropertymarketing.com/
…where Mr.Sklar is now peddling everything from real estate marketing to office furniture and even credit repair (insert screeching record here)…you heard that right. The guy is now trying to provide assistance in credit repair – something he would appear to need himself.
As for Brian Albury…we are not entirely sure what he’s up to but his associations and pertinent information can be viewed below.
David Matluck was formerly listed as the President of Hacienda Matapalo’s holding company, Pegasus Star Ltda. and a managing director of Centam Partners, the corporation who’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Florida, was the nail in the coffin for Hacienda Matapalo.
Not much is known of what he too is up to these days but we’ve found the following information in relation to him.
As you will see in this well-prepared flowchart by the incredibly informative web site CorporationWiki.com, the associations are clear with regards to whom the original owners/executives are of the now defunk Hacienda Matapalo. http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Fort-Lauderdale/centam-partners-llc-2099010.aspx
It is unknown at this time if investors of Hacienda Matapalo have retained legal council in Costa Rica and the US however one lawyer firm specializing in matters of real estate investors within Costa Rica and is also educated on the situation at Matapalo, are AG-Abogados.
The firm is comprised of a handful of the countries top attorneys with specialization in corruption, real estate fraud, corporate law and other civil and criminal matters. As standing lawyers for some of the world’s largest corporate titans, AG-Abogados would be the perfect solution to investor woes at Hacienda Matapalo. Not to mention a nightmare for the previous owners of the property who’d like nothing more than to run away and hide from this pressure cooker scenario they’ve created.
Gonzalo Gutierrez is a founding partner at AG-Abogados. He is fluent in both English and Spanish with degrees from Spain and the USA relating to his lengthy legal repertoire. For any investors of Hacienda Matapalo interested in knowing their options with regards to their investment dollars, consider contacting Mr.Gutierrez at 506.2257.0006 or (305) 671-3768 for Canadian or US residents. He can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
There at least should be some comfort for investors in knowing they do in fact have options.