State Representative Walter Blackman Warns Arizonans of ‘Fraudulent Theft’ of Property in Mexico, Calls for Action

Arizona State Representative Walter Blackman (R-Sedona) held a press conference Monday regarding what he called “the fraudulent theft of a valuable oceanfront property” affecting Arizonans who have invested in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point.

“Many Arizonans regard Puerto Peñasco as “Arizona’s beach,” and it has become very popular to purchase property there. With Jorge Pivac [the city’s mayor] in place, Arizona citizens’ security and investments are at risk. I am accordingly demanding that we take measures to protect the investments and safety of Arizona citizens and businesses,” Blackman said.

Blackman shared that two of his constituents, Rick and Julie Hatch, loaned money to property in Puerto Peñasco in 2009 using their corporation Coca & Hatch Properties. The property was transferred to them via a bank trust through Bank of America in 2013, and the couple visited the property often after that. However, their property was taken away in 2016.

The Hatches discovered that, without their consent, someone had recorded a loan and mortgage against their company the year before. Because the loan was never paid, a new deed was recorded for the property, transferring it to a new owner. This loan and mortgage were allegedly filed by Roberto Trahin Rodriguez, the company’s “general manager.”

However, the issue is that Rodriguez never had a position with the Hatches’ corporation. A company meeting had appointed Rodriguez as the general manager with the ability to make contracts on the company’s behalf. Documents show figures associated with the Hatches’ company met in 2015 to make the decision; however, Rick Hatch said these signatures were forged. As proof, he pointed out that one of the signatures belonged to Mercedes Coca, who had died in October 2008, years before the meeting took place.

Yet, under his “authority,” Rodriguez executed documents indicating the company had taken out a loan and granted a mortgage to Puerto Peñasco Mayor Jorge Pivac. Blackman stated that Pivac is an American citizen with property in Arizona and used funds transferred from an American bank account in this alleged fraud.

The Hatches never knew this false loan existed, so when they did not pay it off after several months, Pivac allegedly transferred the property to himself to satisfy the loan. Since then, the Hatches have been in an ever-ending legal battle to regain their property, which they claim was illicitly taken from them.

To right what he sees as wrong, Blackman asked the attorney general’s office (AGO) Monday to investigate Pivac as an Arizona resident. He said Pivac’s actions potentially endanger Arizonans who try to buy property in Puerto Peñasco. He said he would also like to see the governor’s office and legislature collaborate with the AGO and the U.S. Justice Department to ensure residents of the state will not face an issue like this again.

Blackman clarified that he is not trying to cause a disturbance in the relationship between Arizona and Mexico, but emphasized that these allegations cannot go uninvestigated.

As reported by, the Hitches are not the only Arizonans facing property issues in Puerto Peñasco. Rita Durfee, 64, mortgaged her home to buy a two-bedroom in Puerto Peñasco, but after her husband’s death, she requested the property’s title in order to sell it, and she has since waited two years for results.

For others who have had an issue with any property in Puerto Peñasco, Blackman set up a hotline at (602) 926-3043.

Watch Blackman’s press conference here.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Walter Blackman” by Walt Blackman.


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