It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: Here’s a bit of an update on the VO Group timeshare fraud case.

To begin with, Ian Resnick’s attorney is definitely earning his keep so to speak in defense of his client. On Feb. 3, 2016 he filed a motion for subpoenas pursuant to Rule 17(C), essentially in support of Resnick’s Constitutional right to face his accusers — many of whom the government brought forward long after Resnick had been convicted. You can get the details by reading the Motion itself at this link but in a nutshell:

Upon review of V.O. Group business records, counsel discovered many discrepancies, inaccuracies and/or omissions within many of the victim loss statements, F.B.I. 302 reports, and financial documentation produced by the Government for the purpose of sentencing.

Defendant, Ian Resnick, is seeking the assistance of this Court in obtaining, from “Wyndham Vacation Ownership” and “Wyndham Consumer Finance,” any and all materials, documents and/or correspondence which refer to, relate to, or concern any and all victims, including but not limited to any and all information related to 253 individuals, who are listed within the Government’s proposed victims’ list. (emphasis added)

WHEREFORE defendant, IAN RESNICK, through his counsel, respectfully requests that these requests for court ordered production of documents and materials, including but not limited to, all correspondence, including any and all relevant materials, concerning and/or in the possession of the above-mentioned entities and relating and relevant to this prosecution and the defendant be granted

The government quickly filed a brief in opposition but no hearing or decision has yet been forthcoming from the judge. I’m guessing that this move may once again cause a postponement of Resnick’s sentencing, currently set for Feb. 17.

Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date — as of this writing — is still set for March 23, 2016.

Meanwhile, several of the defendants (but not all of them) who pled guilty to various counts of fraud in the case have finally either already been sentenced or have a date scheduled for sentencing. Keep in mind that most of them pled guilty to only one or two counts.

Francis Santore (a/k/a “Frank Martin,”) was set to be sentenced on 2/16/2016, but it has been reset to 2/19/2016

Steven Cox’s (a/k/a “Steve Coluzzi,”) sentencing is set for 3/9/2016.

Alfred Giordano (a/k/a “Alex Jordan,”) is scheduled to be sentenced on 2/19/2016.

Eric Reiff (a/k/a “Skip,” a/k/a “Skip Ray,”) was sentenced to 24 months (2 years) on Sept. 10, 2015 plus 3 years of supervised release plus he is ordered to pay $140,547.66 in restitution. He is incarcerated at Fort Dix FCI with a release date of 02/08/2017.

On July 18, 2014 Eric Reilly was sentenced to 36 months (3 years) plus 3 years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $3,040,767.54 in restitution to private and corporate victims. The Judgement says, among other things:

SEE ATTACHED PRIVATE VICTIMS/CORPORATE VICTIMS LIST OF 280 VICTIMS AND RESTITUTION AMOUNTS
The amounts ordered represent the total amounts due to the victims for these losses. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3664U)(1), this restitution order provides that the restitution to the private victims be paid in full before any restitution is paid to the corporate victims. The defendant’s restitution obligations shall not be affected by any restitution payments made by other defendants in this case, except that no further payments shall be required after the sums of the amounts actually paid by all defendants has fully satisfied these losses. The following defendants in the following cases may be subject to restitution orders to the same victims for these same losses:

  • Adam Lacerda Cr. No.: 12-303-01
  • Ashley Lacerda Cr. No.: 12-303-02
  • Ian Resnick Cr. No.: 12-303-03
  • Steven Cox Cr. No.: 12-303-04
  • Alfred Giordano Cr. No.: 12-303-05
  • Francis Santore Cr. No.: 12-303-06
  • Brian Corley Cr. No.: 12-303-07
  • Joseph Saxon Cr. No.: 12-303-09
  • Aimee Allen Cr. No.: 13-170-03
  • Vincent Giordano Cr. No.: 13-216-01
  • Eric K. Reiff Cr. No.: 13-310-01
  • Nancy Manno Cr. No.: 13-334-01
  • Jeffrey Sawyer Cr. No.: 13-335-01
  • Catherine Bannigan Cr. No.: 13-357-01
  • Ryan E. Bird Cr. No.: 13-406-01
  • Genevieve Manzoni Cr. No.: 12-303-10

You can find a victims list along with the restitution amount owed each of them on the Judgement document relating to Eric Reilly.

Stay tuned for more details as I find them.


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al), Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date was previously scheduled for January 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM but it has been rescheduled (again!) for March 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM.

Ian Resnick’s sentencing date, which was most recently scheduled for Jan. 8, 2016, has been rescheduled for February 17, 2016. There is a note in the docket saying “Ordered that defense counsel is directed to provide the government immediately with a copy of any information produced by Pipelinedeals, Inc.” At this point I don’t know what that’s all about, but the company in question provides software that helps sales professionals better manage and track sales leads.

Note that Ashley, her husband Adam Lacerda, Ian Resnick and Genevieve Manzoni were all convicted way back on Sept. 5, 2013 on various felony counts of fraud; Ashley was convicted on 6 counts. Those convictions triggered a flurry of motions and counter motions from both sides of the aisle, all of which took up considerable time. In Nov. 2013 it was noted that sentencing dates would be scheduled by the Court for some date after January 2014.

Fast forward to November 2014, when Ashley’s sentencing date was finally set for March 24, 2015. Since that time that date has been rescheduled at least four times, and she has remained in custody for that entire time (as have Adam, sentenced in June 2015 to 27 years, and Ian Resnick).

Manzoni, who remained free on bail following the trial, was sentenced on Dec. 7, 2015 to 42 months plus 3 years supervised release, and restitution in the total amount of $105,422. According to the BOP’s inmate locator, she has not yet turned herself in to begin serving her sentence. UPDATE: The reason Manzoni is still free is because she has filed an appeal to the United States District Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit contesting both the jury’s verdict and the sentence entered on December 7, 2015. Unless she does something bad she’ll likely remain free at least until the appeal is decided.

UPDATE 2: Genevieve Manzoni self surrendered to Alderson FPC (a minimum security federal prison camp) in West Virginia on Jan. 12. She has a release date of 1/23/19.

To the best of my knowledge no sentencing dates have yet been scheduled for the remaining defendants in the case who pled guilty rather than go to trial.

 


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al), Ian Resnick was scheduled to be sentenced for his part in the fraud on Tuesday, Dec. 22 but wouldn’t you just know it — the date has been set back again to January 8, 2016 (a Friday) at 1:30 PM.

I believe it is fairly certain that Resnick’s attorney will quickly file an appeal on his behalf once he is sentenced, questioning both the conviction itself and the amount of restitution involved (or something along those lines). Stay tuned and take the popcorn out of the microwave.

As a follow-up to Genevieve Manzoni’s sentencing on Dec. 7, please refer to this link for additional updates.

We’re only a month away from learning Ashley Lacerda’s fate, currently scheduled for January 15, 2016; expect an appeal there as well.

To the best of my knowledge no sentencing dates have yet been scheduled for the remaining defendants in the case who pled guilty rather than go to trial.

 


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
Scoop finally followed up on his previous column Another Black Tuesday, wherein he predicted an apocalyptic fate for the timeshare universe, one that has already begun, one that is eating away like a slow lethal cancer the totality of which will likely not be seen until it is too late.

This week he told us what it’s all about.

So what’s the Scoop? What’s coming down the road that’s going to be such a problem for us? Is there any hope? Find out for yourself at Scoop du Jour: The Objection From Hell


Because you asked about these convicted criminals:

  • Keith Kosco’s release date is July 10, 2020; he is in this prison http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/pet/
  • Brendan Hawkins’ release date is Nov. 22, 2018; he is in this prison http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/but/
  • Adam Lacerda’s release date is Feb. 20, 2037 and he is in this prison http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/sch/
  • Joseph Saxon’s release date is Aug. 26, 2016; he is in this prison http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/ftd/
  • At least for now, Ashley Lacerda and Ian Resnick, whose sentencing dates are scheduled for later this month, are in this prison http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/phl/
  • As of this writing Genevieve Manzoni, who has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years, has not been remanded to a prison.

To find this type of information for yourself, relating to anyone incarcerated in a federal correctional institution, go the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator: http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/

You’re welcome. :)


BLAST FROM THE PAST: June 8, 2013

MIAMI: The Federal Trade Commission dropped a bomb last week at at press conference in Miami. They announced 191 actions to stop fraudulent operations hawking timeshare property resale services and travel prizes, including three FTC cases, 83 civil actions brought by 28 states, and 25 actions brought by law enforcement agencies in 10 other countries. More than 184 individuals face criminal prosecution by U.S. Attorneys and local law enforcement.

“25 actions brought by law enforcement agencies in 10 other countries…” For all of you who have been ripped off by the Mexican resale scams (among others) and have lost hope that any kind of justice will ever be served, keep that in mind. Just because no one seems to be doing anything about it doesn’t mean nothing is going on in the background. Keep hope alive.


TWEET OF THE WEEK:

Have you seen the world yet?

Where are YOU going this year?

 

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: UPDATE: Genevieve Manzoni has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison following her conviction on one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman ordered Manzoni to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $174,842.13$105,422.

SECOND UPDATE: Here are the terms of her pending imprisonment.

Ordered that the defendant, Genevieve Manzoni, is hereby committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 42 Months on each of Counts 1 and 19, to be served concurrently.
The Court makes the following recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons: that the defendant be designated to a facilitity (sic) nearest as possible to the defendant’s home address in Florida.
The defendant shall surrender herself for service of this sentence to the institution designated by, and on the date set by, the Bureau of Prisons.

(No date has been set as of Dec. 19)

Also contained within that document is a notation on occupational restrictions once she has been released, as follows:

OCCUPATIONAL RESTRICTIONS

Judgment – Page 4 of 8 As a further special condition of supervised release, you are to refrain from any employment in the telemarketing and/or the timeshare industries.

The Court finds that: (1) a reasonably direct relationship existed between the defendant’s occupation, business or profession and the conduct relevant to the offense of conviction; (2) imposition of such a restriction is reasonably necessary to protect the public because there is reason to believe that, absent such restriction, the defendant will continue to engage in unlawful conduct similar to that for which the defendant was convicted; and (3) that the time frame and structure of the special condition is for the minimum time frame and to the minimum extent necessary to protect the public.

Note that if the Judge publishes an opinion on his reasoning for this sentence, I’ll let you know. but in the meantime here is a copy of the Judgement.


RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al), as I mentioned last month Genevieve Manzoni is finally scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, December 7, a mere 2 days from now. Hopefully it will not be rescheduled yet another time and Genevieve and all of us will finally learn her fate.

And don’t imagine that the long wait has been easy for her, either, or for Ashley Lacerda and Ian Resnick.

At any rate, I will be watching the court records for the Judge’s decision and as soon as I learn anything I’ll rush back here to lay it out for you all. So keep an eye on this space starting on Monday morning. Watch for the “big red UPDATE” as one reader likes to put it.

As a reminder, Ian Resnick’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 10:30 AM and Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 10:30 AM.

But don’t think this will be the end of it; there will likely be appeals, such as Adam Lacerda has already filed.

To the best of my knowledge no sentencing dates have yet been scheduled for the remaining defendants in the case who pled guilty rather than got to trial.

 


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al) here’s an update for you on the sentencing of Genevieve Manzoni.

According to the court docket, Manzoni’s sentencing date has been reset to Dec. 7, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. Her sentencing was previously scheduled for Nov. 19.

As a reminder, Ian Resnick’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 10:30 AM and Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 10:30 AM.

To the best of my knowledge no sentencing dates have yet been scheduled for the remaining defendants in the case who pled guilty rather than got to trial.

Stay tuned.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors or bitches and moans you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: RE the ongoing saga of the VO Group timeshare fraud case (Adam Lacerda, et al) here’s the latest news.

As to Genevieve Manzoni, as of this date the court docket is not showing any updates for her and the Attorney General has not issued a press release about her having been sentenced, so I’m guessing that her Nov. 19 sentencing date has been reset to a later date. Stay tuned.

According to the court docket, the sentencing date for Ian Resnick is currently scheduled for Dec. 22 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

Of interest is an October 6 document filed by the Government in response to Resnick’s attorney’s objection to information about 61 new alleged victims introduced to the Court on Oct. 1. Attorney Michael Riley objected strenuously to allowing evidence of the newly identified victims so late in the game, but the government asserted that there is no basis in the law or rules for such an objection, citing a precedent that allows the parties full opportunity to present their evidence and arguments and to “make sure that all relevant matters relating to a sentencing determination have been considered before the final sentencing determination is made.”

In its letter to the Court about the matter, the Government asserted that their new evidence is thusly relevant to the sentencing determination and should be considered by the Judge in sentencing Ian Resnick.

However the Court’s decision turns out, once he has been sentenced Resnick will then be able to file an appeal, as Adam Lacerda has already done.

Stay tuned.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: On September 5, 2013, four of the five defendants from the former VO Group who were standing trial for various counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud were convicted by a jury in Federal Court in Camden, NJ. But that turned out to be far from the end of things, as you all have come to learn during the ensuing two (plus) years as everyone (including the defendants) have waited to learn their fate. It isn’t over yet, gang, and won’t be for a while.

For one thing, Adam Lacerda has filed an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, contesting both his conviction and the 27-year sentence he was given (of the four who were convicted at trial he’s the only one who has been sentenced). The brief on his behalf must be filed on or before Nov. 13, 2015, to be followed by the government’s brief within the following 21 days after that, and then possible reply briefs, and so on. Maybe possibly sometime next year we might find out what the outcome of that appeal will be.

Also, we’re not only still waiting for the sentencing of the remaining three of those who were found guilty at trial but also sentencing of the majority of those who previously pled guilty to various charges. In addition, Ian Resnick is vigorously contesting his own conviction as well as the amount of restitution required, all via some sentencing memorandum submissions filed by his attorney. Those motions are what have delayed his sentencing as the judge reviews them and prepares his decision about them. If the judge decides against him I would expect him to formally appeal his conviction, as Adam Lacerda has already done (that’s just my guess).

Note that I have been in contact with Ian Resnick via the CorrLinks email system, which is a relationship between corrections agencies and Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) that allows prisoners to communicate with people outside of correctional institutions. He has shown an interest in having me share his defense of himself with the public, since he is unable to post or comment directly to the blog due to his incarceration. I’ll keep you posted…

As for Ashley Lacerda and Genevieve Manzoni, I do not know why Ashley’s sentencing date was postponed or when it will be rescheduled. UPDATE Nov. 10: Ashley’s sentence has been rescheduled for Jan. 15, 2016 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman

The date for Manzoni’s sentencing on the Court Docket as available online still shows it scheduled for Nov. 19 at10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. (gn ) (Entered: 09/30/2015). We’ll see soon enough if we should have any faith in that date.

Stay tuned. Sigh.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: This will be short because I don’t have much to report to you regarding the pending sentencing of Ashley Lacerda, Ian Resnick and Genevieve Manzoni for their parts in the VO Group/VO Financial timeshare disposal fraud.

1) Sentencing for Manzoni is currently set for November 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

2) Pursuant to a letter from counsel for defendant Resnick and a letter response by government, a continuance of the sentence date set for Friday, November 20, 2015 has been granted, rescheduled to a date to be set by the Court.

3) There is no further information on Ashley’s sentencing available online, so we’ll have to wait to find out what’s going on with that.

As always, as soon as I get new information I’ll pass it along to you.

Stay tuned.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: Wouldn’t you know it? Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date, which had been set for Oct. 7, has been postponed again. I don’t know why.

According to the Court Docket, transcripts of proceedings held “as to ADAM LACERDA, ASHLEY LACERDA, JOSEPH DIVENTI, IAN RESNICK, GENEVIEVE MANZONI” in June, July, August and Sept. 2013 were apparently presented in Court on Sept. 01, Sept. 02 and Sept. 7, 2015, but there is no indication online of what those proceedings were about nor why they might have influenced the postponement of Ashley’s sentencing. Perhaps the Judge is reviewing evidence one more time before passing judgement? It’s all in the public domain, but only if you are able to view the documents at the Court House or want to order them from the Court Reporter/Transcriber. Not an option either way for me.

Stay tuned. As soon as I know anything for sure I’ll share it with you.

PARSIPPANY: This is definitely something to crow about! Wyndham Worldwide, which by extension includes Wyndham Vacation Ownership, has done such a bang-up job with its environmental sustainability efforts that the company reached its carbon emissions goal six years ahead of schedule!

Wyndham achieved a 20% reduction in carbon emissions (measured on a per square foot basis), well-surpassing its goal. The reduction is equivalent to saving more than 14 million gallons of gasoline.

As if that weren’t enough in and of itself, Wyndham Worldwide was once again named to the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices for the third consecutive year. The Company is one of three hospitality companies, and is the Index Leader for the hospitality sector for both the North American and World indices. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index is one of the most recognized sustainability performance rating tools, with the Index identifying leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance.

Keep in mind that Wyndham Worldwide accommodates millions of travelers every day through its hospitality portfolio that includes everything from hotels to vacation ownership resorts to vacation rentals to holiday parks in nearly 100 countries. With operationally controlled assets including owned, managed and leased properties in all of its business units, the Company tracks, measures and reports on more than 50 million square feet across its global hospitality portfolio.

Yes, you may applaud! KUDOS!!!
Applause



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: There has been some movement (finally) in the cases of those former VO Group employees who reached plea agreements with the government in exchange for their cooperation in the prosecution of Adam and Ashley Lacerda, Ian Resnick and Genevieve Manzoni. Most of those plea deals were reached in 2013, and the perps have been waiting ever since to learn their fate. Here, then, is their current status as far as I can make it out.

Joseph Saxon: Pleaded guilty May 31, 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sentenced July 31, 2015 to 30 months in prison plus an additional 3 years of supervised release with special conditions.

Eric Reiff: Sentenced on Sept. 10, 2015 to 24 months on counts 1 and 2 to be served concurrently, plus an additional 3 years of supervised release with special conditions. The Court has recommended that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) designate Reiff to a facility close to his home address with a 500 Drug Treatment Program. A restitution hearing is set for Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. in Camden.

Dennis Nadeau: Dennis offered a plea agreement in Nov. 2014, which was apparently accepted by the court in January 2015. He pled guilty to one count of Obstruction of Justice (witness tampering), a crime which carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, plus possible supervised release and a variety of monetary fines. The charge claims he “engaged in misleading conduct towards another person, with intent to influence, delay, or prevent testimony.” Sentencing has been set for December 16, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden.

Vincent Giordano: aka Alex Jordan, “Vinny” Giordano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in March, 2013. A status hearing was held in May 2015 and a sentencing date is to be set sometime this Fall, which is pretty vague. I’ll keep an eye on that and let you know what happens.

Alfred Giordano: Also aka Alex Jordan, Al Giordano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud in April 2013 and was released on $100,000 unsecured bail, with conditions (he had been held without bail since February 2013). A status hearing on his compliance with pretrial services was held in January 2015, his bail was continued as previously set, and there has been little mention of him in the docket report since then. I have reached out to his attorney for more information but have not yet heard back from him. No sentencing date has yet been set.

Francis Santore: aka Frank Martin, Fran entered a plea agreement in April 2013, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He has been out on bail ever since; no date for sentencing has yet been set.

Fran joined VO Group in Oct. 2010 as VP of Sales. Previously he had worked with Peppertree, Med Resorts and as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Wyndham San Francisco. He received dozens of awards during his career including being a seven-time member of the Wyndham President’s Club, and a recipient of the Wyndham Sales Legends Award and Leadership Academy. How sad…

Catherine Bannigan: Bannigan pleaded guilty in May 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. In late Sept. 2015 Bannigan’s attorney formally requested the Court to order the preparation of an updated presentence report regarding his client, stating that since the prior report was completed on June 24, 2014, there have been changes in many facets of her life that would warrant a re-interview of her and an update of the report, including her financial condition, employment, living and family circumstances, as well as other things. No sentencing date has been set for Bannigan, and I don’t expect one any time soon.

Jeffrey Sawyer: Jeff pleaded guilty in May 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In Oct. 2013 sentencing was rescheduled to a date to be set by the Court in January 2014, but so far no sentencing date has been set.

Steven Cox: aka Steve Coluzzi, Steve pleaded guilty in May 2013 to one count of attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. There has been no noticeable movement in his case since then; like Sawyer, sentencing was rescheduled to a date to be set by the Court in January 2014, but so far no sentencing date has been set.

Ryan Bird: aka Chris Jackson and Matthew Bross, Ryan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of mail fraud in June 2013. He’s been in limbo since. Like Cox and Sawyer, sentencing was rescheduled to a date to be set by the Court in January 2014, but so far no sentencing date has been set.

As for the “main 4” defendants who went to trial and lost:

  • In June 2015 Adam Lacerda was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
  • As of this date, the court docket still shows Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date to be Oct. 7, 2015. UPDATE Oct. 8: Wouldn’t you know it? Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date has been postponed again. Stay tuned.
  • On Sept. 30 Genevieve Manzoni’s sentencing date was set for Nov. 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.
  • On August 21 a Sentence/Status Hearing was held regarding Ian Resnick’s motion for a new trial and evidentiary hearing re: evidence and amount of victims/victims losses pertaining to his sentence. The government’s submission was ordered due no later than Sept 21, 2015, Defense response due no later than October 21st — and the hearing has been continued until November 20th, 2015 at 10:30 am.

Stay tuned.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: Genevieve Manzoni, who was convicted Sept. 5, 2013 on one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud related to the VO Group timeshare disposal scam, was supposed to be sentenced yesterday (Sept. 4) but I haven’t found any info about it yet and there has been no update to the court’s online database so the earliest we can expect news at this point is probably Monday, Sept. 7. I’ll update as soon as possible.

UPDATE Monday, Sept. 7: Sorry, no new news yet (I forgot today’s a holiday), but I’m keeping an eye on it. One more thing that might be of interest to you and which I think I’ve forgotten to mention is that Adam Lacerda, who has been sentenced to 27 years in prison, did file a notice of appeal on July 28. So I’ll be keeping an eye on that process as well.

UPDATE 2, Sept. 9: Still no information made public. I think we have to assume that Manzoni’s sentencing date has been pushed back…

There is something else I want to mention here, though, which is the general fact that anyone who ever worked for VO Group or VO Financial is being painted with the same broad brush applied to those who were indicted, pled guilty and/or convicted. As a matter of fact not all of those employees were guilty of anything more than working for a crooked company and believing what they were told.

Case in point: The judge who is sitting on this case issued an opinion in its early days, before it ever came to trial, that clearly shows how many of the employees (particularly those on the lower rungs of the ladder) were duped.

The issue came up with a motion by the prosecutors to disqualify Adam Lacerda’s attorney, Marc Neff.

On November 4, 2010, the FBI executed a search warrant at the offices of the VO Group. After the search, several VO Group employees were concerned about the effects that the ongoing investigation might have on the company and its personnel. At the same time, Adam Lacerda changed the text of the sales pitch scripts to eliminate the representations that the VO Group worked with banks and lending institutions to settle outstanding mortgages. However, the government alleged that the scripts continued to include statements that VO Group employees were calling in reference to a complaint, and that utilizing the company’s services would not damage their credit scores.

On November 5, 2010, the day after the execution of the search warrant, Marc Neff, Esq. was retained to represent Adam Lacerda. Approximately one month later, on December 6, 2010, Mr. Neff and a private investigator met with several VO Group employees in the conference room at the company’s offices.

According to the statements of witnesses present for the meeting, Neff attempted to alleviate employee concerns about the ongoing investigation. Specifically, he allegedly told the employees that:

    (1) he was Mr. Lacerda’s attorney,
    (2) at that point in time, only Adam and Ashley Lacerda were targets of the FBI probe, and
    (3) the sales pitch scripts revised by Adam Lacerda after the FBI search were lawful because they removed references to the company’s relationship with banks and other lending institutions.

According to the Government, after the meeting, several employees who had previously considered leaving the company stayed and continued to work for the VO Group because the attorney had convinced them that what they were doing was legal, thereby inadvertently furthering the fraudulent scheme. In fact, the conspiracy continued for approximately another ten months, and the VO Group employees continued to utilize the revised scripts whose legality was purportedly approved by Mr. Neff during this time. Furthermore, contrary to Mr. Neff’s alleged assertions that the Lacerdas were the only targets of the FBI probe, fourteen other VO Group employees were eventually charged by indictment or separate complaints during the course of the investigation.

In the fall of 2012, former VO Group employees Francis Santore, Joseph DiVenti, Ryan Bird, and Steven Cox participated in proffer sessions with the United States. Although the reliability of the witnesses’ testimony is an issue disputed by the parties, the record reflects that, during these proffer sessions, all four witnesses recalled Adam Lacerda’s attorney meeting with VO Group employees in the winter of 2010 to alleviate their concerns as to the ongoing investigation of the company and the Lacerdas.

Many employees eventually figured out what was going on and left the company for other jobs, and Mr. Neff was ultimately disqualified as Adam Lacerda’s attorney on the grounds that he had so insinuated himself into the fabric of the case that he faced, or was likely to face, significant conflicts of interest, with the prosecution and the judge determining that it was possible that Neff might be called as a witness by the State and he therefore could not properly represent Lacerda. The Court further found that, based on the record before it, those conflicts couldn’t be waived or cured by remedial measures other than disqualification.

My point is that not all who worked for the company were thieving, lying scumbags no matter how much some folks would like to believe they are.

That is all.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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