ORLANDO, FL (June 22, 2015) — Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has arrested three Central Florida residents for running a timeshare vacation scheme to defraud consumers out of more than $30,000. Kenyon Dante Times (10/3/86), Melissa Diller (11/20/87) and Kendal Mitchell (2/7/90) allegedly targeted timeshare vacation property owners by brokering false real estate transactions and bilked them out of more than $30,000. One suspect remains at-large.
According to the investigation, the individuals operated TCAD SOLUTIONS, Inc. and contacted timeshare vacation property owners, promising that the business had located buyers for their timeshare properties. Allegedly, they would then require advance broker fees, closing costs, title searches and other fees in order to facilitate the sale of their timeshare vacation properties. Once the victims paid the costs and fees, the real estate transaction would not occur and the business would never communicate with the victims again.
“We will do everything we can to protect consumers from scams. Floridians work hard for their money and shouldn’t have to worry about unscrupulous individuals preying upon them,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Consumers can help protect themselves by checking with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to make sure telemarketers and timeshare resale operators are licensed.”
The following tips help protect consumers from common scams:
- Before any purchase is made, research whether the telemarketer or telemarketing salesperson is registered with FDACS and if there have been any complaints filed against them. This can be done by visiting FreshFromFlorida.com’ s Business/Complaint Lookup or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).
- Do not give out bank account, credit card or personal information (date of birth, mother’s maiden name, Social Security number, etc.) over the telephone, unless it is to a known and trusted source.
- Request written information by mail about the organization itself, as well as the product, service, investment or charity.
State Attorney Phil Archer’s Office has charged Times and Diller each with one count of organized fraud of the second degree, a second degree felony, and Mitchell with one count of organized fraud of the third degree, a third degree felony.
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services