Orlando, FL (September 20, 2016) — U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Chima Edozie Aligwekwe (34, Orlando) to nine years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud for his role as a manager in a timeshare resale fraud scheme. The Court also entered a money judgment against Aligwekwe in the amount of $704,326.55, which represents the total amount of money fraudulently obtained as a result of the scheme. Aligwekwe was found guilty by a jury on June 10, 2016.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial and sentencing, Aligwekwe acted as a manager for a company named “Timeshare Title Services LLC” that operated in Orlando. Representatives of the company, known as “callers,” made unsolicited phone calls to timeshare owners throughout the country, falsely claiming that a buyer existed for their timeshares. The timeshare owners were told that buyers had deposited money into an escrow account for the purchase of their timeshares, and they received documents from the companies that appeared to be legitimate timeshare sales contracts. Ultimately, the timeshare owners were told to send advance fees to the companies to finalize the sales. Numerous timeshare owners made advance fee payments to the companies but received no services and their timeshares were never sold.
Aligwekwe provided customer lead information for the timeshare owners and managed a team of “callers” for Timeshare Title Services LLC. In just a three-month period, more than $500,000 in timeshare owner payments were deposited into bank accounts for the two companies. During this period, Aligwekwe personally received over $120,000 from the victims of this fraud scheme.
On August 25, 2016, another participant in the scheme, Eugene Warren Brewington (34, Orlando) was also sentenced to nine years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew C. Searle and Kara M. Wick.
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida