Four months later, the DEA subpoenaed all of Starwood's records dating to Dec. 13, 2007, including federal and state income tax documents, bank deposit information, records on all company assets and sales, and the entity's relationship with Esquino and more than a dozen companies and individuals, including former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank-Rhon, a gambling mogul and a member of one of Mexico's most powerful families. U.S. law enforcement officials have long suspected Hank-Rhon is tied to organized crime but no allegations have been proven. He has consistently denied any criminal involvement.
He was arrested in Mexico last year on weapons charges and on suspicion of ordering the murder of his son's former girlfriend. He was later freed for lack of evidence.
The subpoena was obtained by the U-T San Diego newspaper.
A Starwood attorney listed on the subpoena, Jeremy Schuster, declined Thursday to provide details.
"We don't comment on matters involving clients," he said.
In September, the DEA seized another Starwood plane — a 1977 Hawker 700 worth $1 million — after it landed in McAllen, Texas from a flight from Mexico.
Insurers of both aircraft have since filed complaints in federal court in Nevada seeking to have the Starwood policies nullified, in part, because they say Esquino lied in the application process when he noted he had never been indicted on drug-related criminal charges. Both companies said they would not have issued the policies had he been truthful.
Another attorney for Starwood has not responded to phone and email messages seeking comment, and no one was at the address listed at its Las Vegas headquarters. The address is a post office box in a shipping and mailing store located between a tuxedo rental shop and a supermarket in a shopping center several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.