CAMDEN, N.J. (July 19, 2016) — Three former employees of The Vacation Ownership Group LLC have been sentenced for their respective roles in conspiring to defraud owners of timeshare properties by offering phony consulting services, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced yesterday.
Jeffrey Sawyer, 53, of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Aimee Allen, 30, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was sentenced to three years of probation, with eight months of home confinement, 50 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution of $197,440. Vincent Giordano, 31, was sentenced to four months in prison, four months of home confinement, 200 hours of community service and three years of supervised release.
All three defendants previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Judge Hillman imposed the sentences on July 15, 2016.
According to documents filed in these cases and statements made in court:
The Vacation Ownership Group, a/k/a VO Group LLC, had offices in Mays Landing and Egg Harbor Township, N.J., and claimed to offer consulting services to owners of timeshares, including cancelling, purchasing and upgrading the timeshares.
Sawyer pretended to be a satisfied VO Group customer to persuade others to send money to the VO Group. He admitted causing more than $70,000 in losses; Allen would call customers and give them the false impression that she was working for a bank or lending institution. Allen then would falsely represent that the VO Group could pay off the customers’ timeshares or have their timeshares cancelled. Allen also served as a “reference” for other VO Group employees by posing as a satisfied customer to persuade a new customer to send the VO Group money. After hearing Allen’s false representations, some customers sent checks to the VO Group. Allen admitted to causing over $200,000 in losses.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; and special agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, New York Region, for their roles in the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the N.J. Department of Labor, Benefit Payment Control Unit, for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Sawyer: Mark E. Roddy Esq., Pleasantville, N.J.
Allen: Edward F. Borden Jr. Esq., Cherry Hill, N.J.
Giordano: Paul A. Sarmousakis Esq., Avalon, N.J.
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: USAO New Jersey