A strange photo came up when I did a Google search for timeshare news. The headline was:
Williamsburg man pleads guilty in timeshare scheme
Regardless of the headline, lots of folks would go to that news website just to read about the character in the photo! The headline could have been “Man Saves Sandwich From Dumpster” and people would still read it just to see the story on this guy.
The real culprit in the Williamsburg timeshare scam is this fellow:
A little more boring. Right? This is the first time I have noticed a photo bait and switch from a NEWS organization! I have seen others do it with sexy photos or outrageous photos just to get a mouse click. But a news organization? Nuts.
The real bad news is that this guy organized a series of companies that specialized in fleecing timeshare owners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and defrauding the resorts as well.
According to the story on http://realradio804.com he plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity. (The goofy photo came from the Virginia Pilot, not Real Radio.)
Here’s how his scam went: he and his cohorts fraudulently transferred more than 1,000 timeshare units to stolen identities and straw buyers. They collected fees from the properties’ original owners to conduct the transfers. The resorts lost more than $800,000 in unpaid taxes and maintenance fees. No telling how much he ripped off the timeshare owners for.
He faces over 30 years in prison.
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