-InsideTheGate.com staff (January 28, 2014)
In a classic case of timeshare resale telemarketing fraud, Jacqueline Enid Acevedo, 30, of Cedar Hill, Texas; Nathan Scott Christian, 30, of Boynton Beach, Florida; Robert Joseph Lopicola, 43, of Doral, Florida; and Kyle Richard Robertson, 31, of Miami, Florida, have each been indicted by a federal grand jury in Illinois for one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
According to Stephen R. Wigginton, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, between late 2007 and approximately December 2009, about 25,500 consumers were victimized in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as well as in all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory of Canada.
The indictments allege that approximately $35 million was fraudulently collected by telemarketers involved in this scheme. At least sixty-eight (68) consumers in at least thirty (30) of the thirty-eight (38) counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois were victimized.
According to the complaint, between late 2007 and continuing until on or about November 2009, C&G Marketing Associates, LLC, a Florida corporation, defrauded consumers using the fictitious name Premier Timeshare Solutions (“PTS”) by conducting a fraudulent timeshare resale scheme through the use of telemarketing.
PTS telemarketers worked in an office building in West Palm Beach, Florida. From there, they placed phone calls to timeshare owners throughout the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, falsely representing or implying that the company had found someone who wanted to buy their timeshare interest. In exchange for an advance fee that typically exceeded $1,000, the PTS telemarketers promised to handle all the details of the sale and send the victims the proceeds after closing.
As is the usual outcome of such timeshare resale scams, the indictment alleges there were no interested buyers, the closings did not occur, and the timeshares were not resold. Instead, the conspirators simply pocketed the advanced fees.
Another defendant, Jose Goyos, was indicted for his role in this scheme in April 2013. Goyos has pled guilty to the charge and is currently awaiting sentencing.
If convicted, each defendant is subject to a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years, a fine of $250,000 and five years of supervised release.
These cases were investigated by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service General’s office. The prosecutions of the cases are being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Bruce Reppert and William E. Coonan.