>> MIDWEST & SOUTHERN USA TIMESHARE:

MADISON: Mark S. Parks (aka Jim Morris, Jack Taylor and a slew of other aliases), 39; his wife, Mindy L. Parks, 34; Ashley M. Conant, 28; and her mother, Eileen M. Goltz, 51.

Those four people have been criminally indicted by the Feds for allegedly running a timeshare resale scam that operated from April 2007 to April 2010 using four different companies: National Timeshare Resales, Integrated Advertising Solutions, Administrative Timeshare Resales Inc. and Midwest Timeshares.

They allegedly used a pair of standard timeshare frauds to fleece their victims.

  1. A promise to help sell timeshares (for an upfront fee) via ads, online, through solicitation and at conventions, with a money-back guarantee if the listing didn’t sell within a certain period of time.
  2. Telemarketers called timeshare owners, telling them they had a buyer for their timeshares and that the buyers were willing to pay a premium price. The victims were induced to pay upfront fee of between $200 – $2,500 for various fees such prepaid closing costs and related expenses.

In the first scenario, according to the criminal complaint, the advertising turned out primarily to be a simple listing on a company-owned website, no effort was made to actually sell any timeshares, and no refunds were granted.

In the second case no buyers actually existed; the money was simply pocketed by the operators of the scam and no refunds were given when the alleged sale failed to materialize.

Telemarketers told investigators they were supplied with lead lists, scripts and sales tactics and trained by the owners and operators. They worked on commission, being paid a percentage of the fee they obtained from their alleged victims.

Investigators, including the FBI, have records of 523 people, many elderly, who paid fees to Midwest Timeshares and 433 customers of Administrative Timeshare Resales. A lot of those complaints came from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which forwarded complaints to the FBI about fraudulent and deceptive business tactics from October 2009 to April 2011. The BBB had received over 100 complaints from 30 states plus Canada before turning those complaints over to law enforcement to start the ball rolling.

Each of the defendants faces a possible sentence of 20 years, but it’s unlikely they’ll be sentenced to that much time. I’m thinking they may deserve it, though.


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