EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (May 13, 2015) — Lev Derbaremdiker, 29, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, has been sentenced in the United States District Court in East St. Louis to one year and a day in prison for his role in a massive timeshare resale scam that bilked some 7,000 consumers throughout the United States and Canada out of $14.5 million. The prison sentence is to be followed by two years of supervised release, and he must also pay a $100 special assessment.
Derbaremdiker, who entered into a plea agreement with the Government in January 2015, stands convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, a Class B felony that could have carried a sentence of 20 years, a fine $250,000 or both. The investigation determined that Derbaremdiker was a closer at C&G Marketing Associates, LLC, also known as Premier Timeshare Solutions (PTS), for approximately a six-month period in 2009, working out of office buildings in Florida.
While working as a telemarketer, the Defendant was personally responsible for victimizing 65 people and defrauding those victims of an estimated $130,759.02.
He has, however, apparently avoided the the issue of paying restitution to his victims. According to court documents, restitution is impracticable because the number of potential victims in this case is so large, and there are no reliable records from which each victim’s loss can be determined. The burden on the sentencing process, which includes a requirement that the Probation Office verify restitution amounts, therefore outweighs the need to develop a complete accounting of victim losses in a restitution order.
This prosecution is one of nearly 50 timeshare resale fraud prosecutions brought in the Southern District of Illinois over the past four years. The case is part of an ongoing investigation by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Florida Department of Agriculture. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney’s Scott Verseman and Michael Hallock.
Additional prosecutions have taken place, and continue to take place, in Florida.