Heartbroken by Corruption

As I sit here at 2AM thinking about all that has transpired since I have arrived in the DR, my heart breaks, not only for this beautiful nation, but for me and the thought that I am considering leaving rather than face anymore attempts to swindle me, defraud me, cheat me and lie to me. This has involved everything from attempting to purchase an automobile where a deposit of $500 was stolen from me, to a house that I attempted to rent that had no running water and this information was never disclosed . It now concludes with my own attorney charging me for services unperformed and when I suggest I have a problem with that, same attorney office banters about highly confidential and private matters in a seeming attempt to blackmail me in some way. When i copy another attorney on what the current attorney is doing, the current attorney writes to the new attorney instructing her not to represent me because I don't pay my bills. This all happens in a 12 hour period on a Sunday where i have had no time to pay an invoice presented to me the same day. But, please remember that this situation began with a simple inquiry regarding the invoice. I was confused about the invoice because I thought this attorney was charging $700 to review a lease agreement on my behalf. And actually when I look at the bill, that is the only substantive work that was done. This list of hurts is in no way exhausted and does not even touch on the numerous personal trials I have experienced with people trying to take money from me. In the end all this conspires to break my heart and will to forge on in the DR. It was my hope to bring some great tourism ideas and oppotunity to the DR and to hopefully assist in employing others in this land. Now all I feel like doing in throwing up and running from this country as quickly as I can.


Heartbroken in the DR

P.S. if anyone knows a good attorney that speaks English, please let me know.

I am sorry for your experiences. This country is not for everyone! 

I know several attorneys, in what part of the country?

Thank you Planner, you have consistently given good advice and been responsive to any topic I have written on. I am in La Vega or Jarabacoa. I feel a little better as Sun rises and will work to streamline.

I feel your pain. I too, have had similar experiences in that very same vicinity. The only consolation I can give you is what was offered to me, and that is that the area you're speaking of seems to have a reputation for that sort of thing. The quote "den of thieves" was used. I was adviced to leave the area and not look back. To be fair, even in US, the are places in certain cities you'd be wise not to venture to go.  Really,wouldn't you think twice about where you go in New York city, Chicago or Los Angeles? You wouldn't judge the entire state by them. (I've experienced problems in Freeport, but I would love to live there again.)  Not much comfort though, if you're already there. Hope you can find some place in DR that you'll be happy in, and view it as 'lesson learned.'

I  do not know any attorneys in that area,  I am so sorry!

Thank you, Launica. A Den of Thieves! That's  a very hard reality to swallow. But it comes close to an apt description. Instead, however, my question is can I survive in such a den if I myself wishes to be an honest person and act justly and with integrity. I don't want to loose myself to that mindset. Or always feel that I'm on the defense with regard to it. I don't have an answer to this and until then, I simply will have to assume a different posture!

It is a difficult adjustment and I have struggled with this at times too. 

Some basics: NEVER ever give trust, it must be earned. Question everything, and do it more than once. Do not accept what you are told by a lawyer, doctor, notary etc OR your spouse, partner or "friend".  Go do your own research including asking here on this board!

You will soon learn what you are watching for.  Often the "signals" given out are very very subtle and are not what we are used to watching for.

Yes, thank you so much, Planner. I celebrate 50 years on the planet tomorrow and sometimes I feel like I am having to learn the same lessons over and over again!

I know that feeling. I just hit the big 60 and I  still have many lessons to learn. For me this life here in this country is about learning PATIENCE,  but really could we just hurry up with it already.......

Lol, lol! That sounds too much like me...but you're not 60...:)))

My license and passport say I am.  I personally  do not believe it either!  Birthday picture is now visible.....LOL

A friend of mine told me of a novel idea that has worked for me. Never use a lawyer in the DR to help rent an apartment, or buy anything. Find local working people to befriend in the area you want to live in. A police officer,  banker,  pharmacy worker,  teacher,  etc...They walk past these nice apartments going to or from work. This same friend paid a prostitute to find him an apartment.  He has a nice two bedroom in the colonial zone in Santo Domingo. My current girlfriend found my apartment for me in Gazcue. She negotiated everything for me, and I gave her 150 dollars.  She works at the grocery store down the street from it. We come to the DR and totally forget the benefits of "word of mouth". A lawyer wants your money first,  and to help you second.  The people here are actually very nice and genuine. I don't trust people,  but a local person has more incentive to help you than a lawyer.  My 150 dollars was a lot of money to her,  based on her monthly income.

Great post and so very true. When I was looking  for a place I always spoke to the people in the area that I wanted to live in.   I would go to the local colmadon and sit and have a drink and a chat!  People are often eager to help!

I am living in Moca where my wife and her family is from. My lawyer(s) are God friends of my sister in law who lives and works in Alberta Canada - she introduced me to her sister, now my wife. The law firm is a brother and sister, both speak English butbthevsister is more fluent and has done the most work. If they get off path, I mention my concerns to my sister in law and she calls. All is going well. I can provide name and number if you wish. They are not like north American attorneys in that they do provide updates but they do respond pretty quick and honestly.

Hola everyone!

I see that this thread is a few years old. I searched "swindler", and found this thread!

@2VPsoldier- can I get the number to that attorney please?

I have a story so disgusting, it actually makes people feel sick and I wanted to see if any justice exists for my case