Sunday, November 23, 2014

Prison for Timeshare Scam Owners and Workers

Timeshare fraudsters and scammers often target senior citizens and the elderly.  Their cons are not only shameful and despicable, but -apparently a little known fact to the many aspiring con artists and soon-to-be convicts- they are illegal and criminal.

A wave of prosecutions, convictions, and guilty pleas for timeshare scammers have recently been reported in the media and some are linked below.  9 years in prison for one.  Three others face up to 30 years in prison.  More than 14 years for another.  One more gets 5 years.  And yet another may go free after serving "just six years."

South Carolina is reported to be the state with the second or third most timeshares in the United States depending on your source from a Google search.  Thousands of people have complained of timeshare sales fraud on Hilton Head Island alone, not including other locations in South Carolina saturated with timeshares like Myrtle Beach.  The City of Charleston, South Carolina, went so far as to pass their own local timeshare ordinance.

In late 2014, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman cracked down on timeshare following reports of fraudulent timeshare sales practices and hoping to achieve greater protections for consumers.  AG Schneiderman's efforts have been well documented in the media and can be found in a Google search.

I believe that the South Carolina Attorney General's Office forwards complaints of timeshare fraud to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission.  And I am informed that the South Carolina Real Estate Commission does not have enough resources to investigate all of the complaints of timeshare fraud in South Carolina that they receive.

I am unaware of any prosecutions -ever- for timeshare fraud by the South Carolina Attorney General, and I am unaware of any action being taken by the SC AG, similar or otherwise to the NY AG, to crack down on timeshare fraud and to protect timeshare consumers in South Carolina.

Zach S. Naert


November 14, 2014
"The leader of a Green Bay-area scheme to bilk elderly owners of timeshare properties will serve nine years in prison, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Mark Parks, 40, of Denmark, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

The scheme defrauded more than 3,000 victims in 50 states and Canada out of about $2.5 million, according to the U.S. Attorney's office."

November 5, 2014
"Three Wisconsin residents who authorities said defrauded more than 3,000 consumers in all 50 states and Canada of a combined $2.5 million in a timeshare resale telemarketing scheme have been convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

The defendants are facing up to 30 years in prison each."

August 26, 2014
"A Charleston man pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to conspiring to defraud timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada, according to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office."

July 18, 2014
"A Palm Beach Gardens resident who co-managed a fraudulent timeshare unit scheme through several boiler rooms was sentenced to 170 months in prison.

Gregory Fusca, 46, was convicted of using RCI Innovations, a company he co-owned, to collect $2.6 million from hundreds of timeshare unit owners throughout the country for services that were never provided."

May 2, 2014
"The former co-owner of a timeshare telemarketing company that scammed $14.5 million from over 7,000 people across the United States and Canada was sentenced in federal court here Friday to eight years in prison and fined $1,000.

Jose Manuel Goyos Jr., 27, of Jupiter, Fla., was co-owner of C&G Marketing Associates LLC, which did business as Premier Timeshare Solutions."

January 30, 2014
"Pasquale Pappalardo, 60, also known as “Pasty U Patso” and “Posh”, was convicted in November of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In his sentencing, the man was ordered to pay $1.06 million in restitution and forfeit $3.5 million."

March 12, 2013
"Recovering alcoholic Gerald William Clarke promises he's sober and eager to pay back all of the dozens of elderly people across the country he scammed in a 2010-11 Delray Beach-based timeshare fraud scheme.

"I was extremely reckless and extremely careless," Clarke, 53, testified Monday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, asking for probation instead of a prison sentence. "I really, really thought I was getting into this business to help people."

But Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal, during a hearing that concluded Tuesday, said "Bill" Clarke must pay for his crimes by being locked up for five years, followed by five years of probation and full restitution."

January 14, 2013
"But Michael E. Kelly could be freed from federal custody this week having served just six years behind bars."