AI image of me being ripped off by Nicaraguan lawyers.

Steve getting wrekt

Steve getting screwed by Nicaraguan lawyers

Gotta have a sense of humour.



I came to Nicaragua in May 2014.  In the years prior my father told me he had purchased some land in Nicaragua.  I was in Australia.  I remember helping a client Jerry with his computer and mentioning that my father had purchased land in Nicaragua.   Jerry replied, “You have to be careful buying land in Nicaragua, lots of scams”.  He wasn’t wrong.


A document with numbers and text

Description automatically generated

The manuel Navarro guy would be involved with lawsuits against the people he representing, eventually getting judgement in our favour.  This internal fraud amongst the sellers would reveal they were trying to reclaim $17,000 even though $4,000 was listed on the contract.


This is the map most if not all will give you when you take your first step out into Granada.    It’s not well known that a well known local, land occupier of the largest gringo owned property is listed on the map, as an owner of an island.  The locals in this area have never let me take possession and it was a scam, cleverly orchestrated by some of the most intelligent fraudsters Nicaragua had to offer at the time. It would take a team to pull it off, and they would be some of the most protected, astute businessmen that have never been punished.  People you would be proud to have at the table to eat with, of course having to foot the bill.

 The real estate cold calling industry is rife and the target is Americans.  Property registry books have legal paperwork cooking waiting to offload to the unsuspecting, trusting foreigner operating in good faith.  Unfortunately fraud only rewards the locals.  The ones participating in the fraud, and the ones taking advantage of previous land theft and bad faith activities.  The victim of the wire fraud, theft, swindling by deceit, has no recourse as the law favours the locals.   Hence why they participate and will never help you because of the solidarity.


A map with green circles

Description automatically generated

I was supposed to meet up with my father’s lawyer.  I thought my father knew this person.  The lawyer sent his assistant and topographer.  I spoke little Spanish and was along for the ride.  I was taken to some land; the topographer was lost.  We eventually found the land.  The topographer took out his pen and scribbled a barely noticeable line on a post saying this is where your property starts.  We went to the registry office and all looked registered.   Later I was explained that to get the map properly registered I would need several geo stational points plotted on a map.  This could all be done for just under $3000.  I thought I was doing the right thing, but the lawyer and his crew would just get this last payment on their scam.  They never told the true story of the land.  They weren’t not our friends and they were never acting in our best interest.  The lawyer’s name was Byron Luis Mejia Rueda and his topographer accomplice was Francisco Cortes Torrez, aka Chico Rata.  Chico Rata was the name my next lawyer Jerry Martinez would say Francisco was known by.

Before getting rid of Byron he was told not to send a letter to the Embassy.  He did anyway with his recollection of events which resulted in his failure to protect his client and do any due diligence.  He did not mention the money taken for services not rendered to the embassy. 


After getting rid of Byron, I took the recommendation to use a Granadino Lawyer Jerry Martinez and his wife Eunice.  Speaking very little Spanish, I was under the impression Jerry was going to help me.  We went to the land registry office and got a copy of the title.  He said it was my land but the people on the land had taken it.  I dealt with Jerry for about a year, but he was a “manana lawyer”.  He would say everything would happen tomorrow, but tomorrow never came.  He said with a change in government there would be progress and kept delaying everything three months.  The same amount of time as my tourist visa.  When I told him I would stay six months, he said it would take six months.  After the end of six months, he hadn’t done anything.  It would be revealed later, why.  During this time I also spoke to a few other Americans I ran into.  One mentioned that my lawyer was trying to steal the land.  Whilst this may not be entirely true, the lawyers were certainly helping themselves and their companeros more than they ever helped me, and I paid for the priveledge.   Certainly no one explained to me the truth.  One of the times I came back after waiting several months the police officer that was helping or whatever was pregnant.  Another clever business tactic.


A close-up of a letter

Description automatically generated

Someone told me Brenes was not a good district attorney and in the video of Esteban talking he mentions Brenes talking about dragging out this for $1000-$1500 a month with… my lawyer… and the squatter. Around 7 minute 15 second timestamp. is the subtitle file if you know how to load it.


Then I had some friends, and one had a mother in law that was a lawyer.  I do not understand why they did not want to help me, but rather drag it out even longer.  The word vivador was thrown around a few times.   At least I got in front of a judge after several years.  I also got my paperwork back after the pre trial conference.  I do not understand why my lawyer and every Nicaraguan refused to talk about or explain to me the truth of the land.  It would come to light that I had spoken to people who could have helped me, but didn’t.  I had to sit down and translate the paperwork that was hidden from me.  These people knew the story the whole time, but they refused to explain it to me in favour of earning a few unethical dollars.  After a small pretrial where the judge said it was all wrong he passed down a verdict and explained somewhat what I needed to do in pursuing this.  (Years later still few can help and the ones I tried with failed with intended lies and intentional irresponsibility)

The land was owned by Maria Prego.  Inherited through her marriage.  Who was Maria Prego?  Her tomb is the second to the left as you enter the cemetery in Granada.  She is buried along side her husband Adofo Gutierrez..  This was shown in the historical title of the property that goes back to the early 1900’s.  Over the years the landowners took out loans against the land to fund their agricultural ventures, paying back the banks and repeating the process for many years.  This was until 198x when the land was confiscated under Reforma Agria.  This seized large portions of private land supposedly to create and protect the food bowl for the areas.  In 199 Violeta Chamorro returned as president and during that time, returned the land to the original owners, legally, in the registry book.

Groups of men formed organizations and apparently claimed large portions of land for themselves.  They were able to lodge various documents, some legal, some just on blank paper.  These land deals would take place under trees and sometimes for bottles of alcohol, buy provisionary paperwork held some value.  Even more value than legal paperwork.

 But in the historical registry the last entry is the government seeking to claim the land for the State.  But in the cancellation column, the judgement is cancelled.    The last entry is not my land.  My registry entry is in another book and starts from a man who went before a Judge in Diriomo and claimed he had possession for over 20 years.  With two witnesses he went in front a judge and obtained a supplementary title and registered the property.

A supplementary title is a second title, different from the original title.  In this case the original title is with Maria Prego and the government confiscation and return of land.  Mine comes from a supplementary title that was sold twice before we purchased it.

Asiento 15 was when the government expropriated the property in May 1989.  The signature beneath the entry is R. Yslark A ?

Asiento 16 is a devolution of the land to the original owner in 1991.

Asiento 17 is the government again claiming the land for the state in  25 June 1996, but it is cancelled in the cancellation column in September 1996.


In 2002, Marco Duarte obtained a suplimentry title which he onsold to a Rosales Baez, who lives in front of the Ferreti Tile factory.  This now deceased person engaged the real estate sales representative Gabrille Faverlly to sell this property.  These men knew they were committing fraud when selling this property.  There was also a Manuel Salvador Duval Navarro who facilitated the sale.  Apparently the “owner” of the property didn’t get paid and the thieves had their own internal lawsuits because someone didn’t get paid.  $45,000 for the property and only $4,000 written on the contract.  The lawyers involved were unethical and only interested in money.   The preyed on unsuspecting foreigners under the guise of foreign investment, when in fact the lawyers involved in the sale have history of being involved in unethical and fraudulent behaviouir  To find out that the lawyer I was supposed to trust had recommended a topographer with history of fraud was no surprised by the time I found out.  I had seen him recommended in expat forums in the years later.  Just ambulance chasers, selling dreams and delivering very little.  A few others would share stories of unethical and money chasing behaviour.   He is mentioned on a new York times article from 2009


Many years ago I spoke with a woman who tried to help me, who put me on to an Jose Adan Prego Fernandez something or other which in years later upon searching my emails shows that he was an heir to this land from the Prego family and spoke to his lawyer to try and help and at no point divulged the true history of the land and that his family owned it.  When I figured it out I messaged one of the females and she said it’s her families and blocked me.

Zero help from the whole spectrum.


So the name of the entire property is Hacienda Mecatepe, a 500+ Manzana property.

The part that was sold to us, was in San Luis de Maneres.  The property boundaries are essentially where the squattors are.  Whatever you want to call them.  Civilized, church going people.  Anyway, there is a small campestre with pool and bar, owned by retired Police Commissioner Mayor Roger Jose Torres Potosme, .  It is a neighbouring property to “our” land.  I find it interesting the lawyer and topographers’ recollection of their $3000 work so close to a police commissioners house.  I was told Byron produced a pistol at which time he was relieved of his pistol by men with machetes.   It is important to google search names and due dillengence.  Byron Mejia’s recommended engineer had previous charges of Fraud.  Why would this lawyer use an unethical topographer?

Cut from the same cloth.  It is a shame the state failed to prosecute in a timely manner, leaving the criminals to continue target victims of land fraud.  Fraud they help perpetuate.

Byron and Franscico’s recollections are as follows.


Invoice from Francisco Cortez

This was Francisco’s reply.  It is noted on the invoice that he was paid $300 was for legal services.  So I in fact paid Byron to represent their fraud against their client.    Byron’s representation was a complete fraud.  He was incompetent and had his own agenda.  He was not a specialist in this area and seemed like what I would come to discover, just another deportee trying to make some money.   His English language is used to take advantage of English speaking clients but his blood is Nicaraguan, he is of zero advantage to an American citizen and seeming careless where he brandishes firearms.

At what point was Francisco going to “expose the whole situation”.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 03/10/2014 2:50 AM
Subject: Re: donde esta mi mapa o dinero
To: "Steve Young" <>

Mr. Steve , I have not been to Managua , I've been doing work on the mountain and make it clear to Dr. Mejia has not told to return money but expose the whole situation heterogeneity and complex payment and we incur costs until the points do work accordingly rather we were kidnapped and threatened with death which attacked us physically and verbally the compasinos the earthing total were 32 who are usurping the property , we were physically assaulted and verbally with weapons machetes fire short pulse weapons attacked our lives and then they had kidnapped from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm then we were taken to the police prisoner Nandaime in which we had to make a rather lengthy exposition of the work we were developing and was not taking land as alleged farmers are taking land and usurping the right furniture ( rural property ) at the same time destroyed the satellite equipment with machetes and stones mASOS and technicians who were laboring , if Dr. Mejia failed so I do not I will omit that threatened my life and the lives of technicians and this is products that you came personally to inflame and has raised tempers rage and agreciones is the leading campecimos called Stevan Gonzalez and Secretary executives including Pedro Pablo Narvaez .




Thanks to some business we did and a mediation with a lawyer we go free then I attach the police certification , so all these incidents and mishaps we acontesieron was strictly exercising our work and when we were on the point had been made todititos payments and operational duties in order to get there . subsequently sent him all the details of the operating expenses and damages caused to the company and its technical team and I are rather filing a lawsuit jucicial technical team owner to pay and pay all that destroyed equipment satellite station is extremely carisimo then I will make every detail of each of the cost right now and sent him to the court record to get out of prison issued by the national police Nandaime .


Sincerely . Ing Francisco Cortez




Mr . Steve , yo no he estado en Managua  , he estado haciendo un trabajo en la montaña  y que quede bien claro el Dr. Mejia no ha dicho que devuelva dinero sino que exponga toda la situación heterogeneidad y compleja de los pagos y costos que incurrimos hasta llegar al puntos de hacer el trabajo en consecuencia mas bien fuimos secuestrados y amenazados de muerte el cual nos agredieron fisica y verbalmente los compasinos los toma tierra en total eran 32 los que estan usurpando la propiedad , fuimos agredidos físicamente y verbalmente con armas de fuego machetes y armas corto pulsante  atentaron contra nuestras vidas y posteriormente nos tuvieron secuestrados de las 8:15 am hasta 4:30 pm posteriormente nos llevaron preso a la policia de Nandaime en el cual tuvimos que hacer una exposicion bien extensa del trabajo que estabamos desarrollando y no era tomando tierra como aducen  los campesinos   toma tierras que estan usurpando el bien y mueble (la propiedad rural) al mismo tiempo destruyeron el equipo satelital con los machetes y masos y piedras de los tecnicos que estábamos laborando , si el Dr. Mejia omitió eso yo no lo voy a omitir por que atentaron contra mi vida y la vida de los tecnicos y esto es productos por que usted llego personalmente a enardecer y ha caldear los animos de furia y de agrecion al lider de los campecimos que se llama Stevan Gonzalez y al secretario ejecutivos de ellos Pedro Pablo Narvaez.




Gracias a unas gestiones que hicimos y unas mediacion con una abogada logramos salir libre posteriormente le adjunto la certificación de la policía , por lo tanto todas estas incidencias y percances que nos acontesieron fue ejerciendo estrictamente nuestro trabajo y ya cuando estábamos en el punto  se habían efectuado todititos los pagos y los aranceles operativos para poder llegar ahi. posteriormente le envio todos los detalle de los gastos operativos y los daños y perjuicios que causaron a la empresa y al tecnico con su equipo y mas bien me estan entablando una demanda jucicial el tecnico dueño del equipo para pagar y sufragar todos lo que destruyeron el equipo de estación satelital que es extremadamente carisimo  a continuación le haré todos los detalle de cada uno de los costos y por ahorita le envio el acta judicial para poder salir de la prision emitido por la policia nacional de nandaime.


Atentamente: Ing. Francisco Cortez 


El 17 de septiembre de 2014, 21:49, Steve Young <> escribió:

Byron dijo que debería ponerse en contacto con usted acerca de regresar mi dinero. Usted ha fallado en completar el trabajo y la respuesta. Es frustrante. ¿Se trata robado este dinero? ¿Va a tener el coraje de responder o simplemente un ladrón común?



It was good I went down to resolve this.  Who knows how long Byron would have been taking money from my father.  He was creating more problems.  He stated he would write to the embassy and was told not to, but then wrote to the embassy.  Some types of people seem to garner some type of entitlement that they wrote the embassy so they are somebodies.  But the embassy was adamant they would never help me.  They said to drop off my paperwork once, but it was a waste of time.  They didn’t even read it.  Not interested.  They could have explained something to me.  The agencies they had in the years prior assisted and paid out people.  This lead to locals taking advantage.  Multiple times I was told by the squattors to get help from the embassy and they would pay me.  I think even once at the police I was told to goto the embassy.  Basically no one helped.  It was fraud and zero sympathy for the foreigner because they can go get more money since it grows on trees and comes so easily.  Not one thought for the years of work and time saving the money, most likely the equivalent of 2-3 Nicarguan lives.  But hey, go buy a hamock from the now self proclaimed land owners.



It should be made known to help with the understanding of the situation that Daniel Ortega was president 1985-1990.  Violeta Chamorro was president from 1990-1997.  Arnoldo Aleman from 1997-2002, Enrique Bolanos from 2002-2007, and Ortega from 2007 onwards.

If Violeta Chamorro returned the land to the original owners, why were the squatter companies continuing to issue paperwork and sell the land amongst themselves.

The dates on the documents mean there are three different timelines.  Failure to actively resolve this or acknowledge the crime makes other titles equally worthless.  Only possession applies.   Get a bunch of people together and make up some stories and get some free land.  Which is why there are so many houses, so many Nicaraguans living in supposed valuable run down houses, but cant sell.  They don’t own it.   And then you buy land and it’s supposed to have the same value.  Nothing.  It’s free for the taking.  Find the old gringo with no family and camp.  Or make their family’s first visit extra special.  I heard of another property and some people were saying that the local government was not going to let the heirs have the property.  I believe it was purchased from provisional paperwork.  They said an expat woman who died of breast cancer.



My Spanish was very poor the first time I went to the land without a lawyer.  One of the “guides” you get dumped with took me there.  I remember Esteban Gonzalez telling this person that a Maria owned the farm.  My Spanish was very poor, but I do remember what the lawyers would refer to as the head squatter, he told this guide some small truths of the land.  But this guide never translated it.  He just said he’s a dishonest man.  Everyone would say the squatters and the people on the land were the thieves.

In late 2022 ish one of the last times I spoke to Esteban Gonzalez he told me my friends were not telling me the truth.  It had taken me a while, but I had figured this out on my own.  Everyone talked bad about the government, but everyone was stealing from me.  Some seemed to use my money to glamourize or create a unnecessary incident to attempt to draw attention to absolutely nothing.  Dishonest businessmen.

One time we went to the land at dusk and were surrounded by a bunch of locals.  We had a chat.  Upon leaving it was found they had laid tree trunks on the road blocking the exit.  I chatted via whatsapp with one of these people which proved futile because in the end they showed the messages to the other villagers in an attempt to get me into trouble.  He blamed me for him spending three nights in jail.  In the end he went illegally to the united states, crossing the border by foot.  After his time was up as an illegal immigrant he claimed asylum.  Strange for a Sandinista Squattor, now squatting in the USA.  It was disappointing to see fruit from the farm being sold on the Calzada in Granada, only meters from where the real estate agent’s office.

I didn’t know the whole court process was online.  Even though my lawyer at the time had a computer, it was clear her knowledge of the up to date systems was lacking.  I recall her saying once that she didn’t want other people saying that her case was wrong.  And in the end when the judge explained me that the case was wrong, it made me believe that they were not working in good faith.  They were rather earning a little money each month or so and dragging out the work as well as making small tasks seem like some big work.   After the judge dismissed the case at an initial hearing, my friend and his mother in law lawyer took me to the park to discuss payment.  They wanted $15,000USD.  At that point my friendship ended and I collected my paperwork.  What a waste of time.  I told the lawyer if they wanted that type of sum of money I would have needed to sign a contract.  I added up the money I had given them over the year or two they claimed to be working and it was sufficient and they were told they had been paid in full.

I then attempted with another lawyer.  I wanted a price for how much it would be to resolve the case.  It came again to the round figure of $15,000 but in the proposal it looked like it would be paying for the land to remove people that really didn’t have titles.

I had paid taxes for ten years on a property the government claims is theirs.  I went to speak to the acting mayor.  Once the current mayor can’t deal with the bullshit they created, they get sick and stay home.  So after speaking to the acting mayor, he made a call and claimed the person in the other room sounded far away like they were in Russia.  This guy wasn’t going to help me at all, he was apart of the people who were taking money from me, and most likely other “foreign investors”  The last he said was to come back next week and the following two weeks the line to see him was at least 50 people long.  He was a no show.  He lasted 3 months before his forced resignation and I guess now lives in his casa Bella Arte on the calzada. 


So the land was taken from the original owners,  a few squattors claimed ownership and bought land from invented paperwork after the land was returned to the original owners.  One person obtained a title from a judge and registered part of the land which was sold by a real estate agent on the calzada targeting tourist.  The land was not for sale.  It was fraud.  To have the property registered and taxes paid, the sellers lawyer and the buyers lawyer were all dishonest as well as the workers in the land registry office and district attorneys office who preferred to delay and take money while doing nothing.  Lets look at the sellers lawyer. 


Angel Salvador Espinoza Guerra

A quick google brings up some twitter posts from Walter Antonio Gutierez.  Water had a business Sueno Boliviano something and Angel Salvador Espinoza Guerra was his Vice President.  They utilized judgements in Nicaragua to try and attempt to get money from companies in the United States, but reading the case, both individuals were deemed untrustworthy by the judge.  Apparently someone also forged a signature or lied about something and Walter blamed Angel for orchestrating the crime.


It seems like over the years, some welfare organizations were also helping the people in that area.  I have zero dollars and zero support from people who took all and gave very little in return.


There are five rules in Nicaraguan civil code to squat land.

Artículo 888 La posesión necesaria para prescribir, debe ser:

1°. Fundada en justo título.

2°. De buena fe.

3°. Pacífica.

4°. Continua.

5°. Pública.


You also have to pay taxes.


This is why it is very difficult to consider Nicaragua as any type of investment grade real estate or property development.   The local population doesn’t respect property rights.  Everyone will blame the government, which is made up of the same people whose greed for money will sell you something, that they had no intention of delivering or always had the intention of taking it back.  Both sides of the political spectrum come together to pitch their plight of poverty after years of dishonestly and corruption as if it wasn’t the results of their own action.  They only seek money and it goes as easily as they steal it.  Since elderly potential retirees are targeted, there is little advantage or legal support for the victim.  Especially when the perpretrators have connections and legal friends complacent and eager to earn a few dollars from the work they created.  But they are not honest workers.   Not one of the law firms on the US Embassy website replied to my emails.  The usual names thrown around on expat forums refused to help, who knows why, but it would appear they only take cookie cutter, easy money cases.  People who still believe in the dream and not those who have been delivered reality.  I sure would like to know where everyone is meeting such nice friendly locals because for the most part everyone I have met has been a self serving cunt.


I didn’t know what I was doing, I came down speaking minimal Spanish and in 10 years I have met very few people I would trust or want to do business with.  There used to be a phrase I would hear when seeking help.  “My friend is a lawyer and has the connections.  He has poder  It was almost a red flag.  Others would claim to be specialist in the area, but were far from.  At some points I was thinking that the lawyers were xenophobic and would not help foreigners even if they were their clients.  From my experience using the lawyers I used, I have no reason to believe otherwise.  There is no investment here.  Not even in people, in after ten years I have few friends that would be useful for anything.  It was better drinking with people I thought were my friends.  I should have left years ago, rather than believing documents such as this.  Nicaraguans would go and steal that land before helping me.  Especially the ones I paid.  All while going to the USA on parole and whatever other handouts from ONGs they can get.


Anyway it would have been cool to have a bit of land to play around with,  dig some holes and stuff.  Most will just say buy something else, but I think there is better places to live where my money could support someone for something positive.  Paying taxes for ten years while waiting for my cut was a bit of a joke.  I hope the reason the local school was shut was because I stopped paying taxes.  I’m sure I’m the only one from that sector paying taxes, except for the retired police commissioner and other “duenos”.


So rather than live amongst thieves, after ten years they can congratulate themselves on all they stole during the years and that their plan to be so friendly and nice helping themselves to what they sold and stole, that I finally am making plans to leave.  I was hoping to prove some people wrong, but I came away with a more important lesson.  Knowing the truth of what the Nicaraguan people are like.  As the legal owner of 154 manzanas they never even offered me one.  They stole from my father and stole from me  They don’t care if my children eat, they don’t care if my family eats.  They expect that I can always find more when everything is free for them to take.  My father nor myself was in the military.  I am unsure why Nicaraguans target the American people, but I do know that claiming the Nicaraguan people are not against the pueblo of the united states is the biggest load of bullshit ever stated.


This is my truthful, summarized, opinionated recollection of my side of events.  I have paid for these experiences.  I have not obtained a damned thing other than the only thing they have to offer.  A fucking head ache and the bill. 

But wait! There’s more…. No one wants to read this shit.