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

CAMDEN: As noted in an update on June 25, Adam Lacerda (aka Robert Klein) has been sentenced to 324 months (27 years!) in Federal Prison for his part in the VO Group fraud. In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced him to three years of supervised release.

He was convicted in September 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, nine counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud following a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.

27 years is a whopper of a sentence and frankly it surprised me. Still, we have to remember that the possible sentence for all thirteen counts on which he was convicted could have approached some 260 years or so, by which standard the 27 years doesn’t seem like so much.

If you have the time, you might want to toss some popcorn in the microwave and settle down with the beverage of your choice while you read this PDF document containing Judge Hillman’s opinion on why Adam and Ashley’s bail was revoked in August 2013 during their trial (hint: it had to do with serial witness tampering and being a flight risk). It’s an eye-opener for sure, and a reminder of the seriousness of their crimes. Here’s just one brief bit for you:

In order to understand the scope and intent of the witness tampering recently uncovered and described throughout this Opinion, it is important to note that many of the very real victims of this scheme[2] are elderly, in dire financial straits, geographically remote from the Defendants, or were particularly susceptible to telemarking frauds.[3] For example, Ricky Baker, a victim in one of the related matters pending sentencing and who testified in the ongoing trial, was a recent veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom facing surgery and severe financial pressures when he was defrauded by an employee of the VO Group.

Here’s another:

The evidence introduced by the United States likewise reveals that, while at the helm of the company, Adam Lacerda repeatedly used an alias to mask his true identity, directed and condoned the practice of his employees using aliases to mask their identities, impersonated bank officials, utilized a spoofing device on his cellular phone that altered his phone number and the sound of his voice in an effort to disguise his identity and location and cause customers to believe that VO Group worked with banks and lending institutions, and used other sophisticated means to defraud innocent individuals of their money.

Note that the Lacerdas and Ian Resnick were not charged with witness tampering, an obstruction of justice charge, but they sure could be if the government wanted to go that route.

♦ ♦ If Judge Hillman publishes a similar opinion on his reasons for the 27-year sentence I’ll make sure you get to see that, too.

I expect Lacerda to appeal, and of course there’s always the possibility that his sentence might be reduced if he should win on appeal.

Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date has been reset to August 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. I imagine she can’t be feeling very sanguine about the possibilities at this stage.

Meanwhile, as of this writing Ian Resnick is still scheduled to be sentenced on June 30 BUT on June 24 his attorney filed a motion for a new trial (you can view the PDF at that link), citing a misuse of evidence before the grand jury and the discovery of new evidence that the prosecution withheld. Serious charges; as it turns out Resnick’s previous motion for a new trial was never addressed by the judge, hence the new motion. Judge Hillman has not yet either accepted or rejected the motion, much less set a date for a hearing on the motion, so I’d guess that maybe Resnick’s sentencing date might be pushed back?

I’d also guess that the Judge is unlikely to grant the motion, but I’ve been wrong before. At the very least it sets the groundwork for an appeal.

Note that it appears sentencing dates are beginning to be set for some of the other defendants, who previously pleaded guilty and have been waiting for a very long time to learn their fate. For instance, Joseph Saxon, who had been under house arrest at his parent’s home, had that arrangement revoked on June 24, was remanded to the custody of the US Marshall and is set to be sentenced on July 17. Saxon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in June 2013.

I’ll be checking on the status of the others, too, as time goes by.

Once again, stay tuned. When I learn something new, so will you.



“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


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

UPDATE JUNE 25: Adam Lacerda was sentenced today to 324 months (27 years!) in Federal Prison. In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced him to an additional three years of supervised release. He was convicted in September 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, nine counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud following a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.

Ashley Lacerda’s sentencing date has been reset to August 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

Ian Resnick and Genevieve Manzoni are still awaiting sentencing, as are the thirteen defendants who previously pleaded guilty in the case. More on Resnick’s status on Saturday June 27. Stay tuned.

CAMDEN: Last week someone asked in the Comments section about Dennis Nadeau, who was arrested in June 2014 on charges related to his alleged misconduct in the VO Group timeshare disposal fraud case. The question was about the status of his case and whether or not he will do any prison time for his part in the fraud.

Keep in mind that in 2013, thirteen former VO Group employees pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud timeshare owners. Four other VO Group employees, including VO Group President Adam Lacerda and his wife, Ashley, were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to defraud and related charges after a seven-week trial that concluded in September 2013.

On Nov. 19, 2014, Nadeau accepted a deal with the Government wherein he pleaded guilty to one count of witness tampering in the VO Group trial, which is an obstruction of justice charge. Sentencing for Nadeau is set for Sept. 3, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman. The offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense.

As to whether or not he’ll actually do any time, well my opinion is that he will because the charge is a serious one.

Nadeau worked at the VO Group/Vacation Ownership Group LLC and its successor, VO Financial from 2010 through 2013. The original charges against him accused him of “misleading conduct with intent to influence the testimony of four actual and potential witnesses in the trial of the U.S. v. Adam Lacerda et al.”

According to the complaint, the FBI provided the Lacerdas and their lawyers with discovery materials for the preparation of their trial, as is mandated by law. Within those materials were forms summarizing the FBI’s interviews with VO Group victims.

In the charge to which he pleaded guilty Nadeau admitted to the following: Shortly before the start of the trial, Ashley Lacerda directed him to call those former VO Group customers who had spoken to the FBI. She told him to try to convince them that everything had been explained to them and that any problems occurred because they had not followed the VO Group’s instructions.

After Nadeau had an initial call with a witness, Adam Lacerda gave Nadeau a written script and directed him to call the witness again using the script. Adam told Nadeau that he wanted to obtain ammunition to use when the witness testified at trial and instructed him to record the call without the witness’ knowledge. With Adam standing over him, Nadeau called the witness using the script and tried to get the witness to agree with several false statements.

The witness nonetheless testified at the VO Group trial and the recording was played during that witness’ trial testimony as proof.

Nadeau then testified at the trial as one of Adam’s defense witnesses. Adam prepared him to testify and told him to tell two lies during his trial testimony. Nadeau admitted in his plea agreement that he complied with Adam Lacerda’s instructions and gave false testimony at trial.

That’s serious stuff, in my lay person’s opinion, and though the sentence is within the sole discretion of the sentencing judge, the government in this case has suggested that the sentencing guidelines be reduced to a Level 13 due to Nadeau’s cooperation in his case. A Level 13 calls for 12 – 18 months of imprisonment.

Could that imprisonment mean house arrest or something along those lines? Sure. But witness tampering (and perjury, for which he was not charged) is serious business. Meanwhile, he remains free on $75,000 bail.

We’ll find out soon enough what the judge decides.

Meanwhile, as of today Ashley and Adam Lacerda are set to be sentenced on this coming Thursday and Friday, respectively. As soon as the information makes it to public view I’ll update this section (and probably have something to say about it next Saturday as well.) So once again, 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: This is STILL the BIG month for everyone who has been involved in or following the VO Group timeshare transfer fraud case, which has been winding its way toward justice since April of 2012 when 16 people were arrested on various fraud charges related to the company’s actions.

But for all of us who were waiting for news of Adam’s sentencing, which was scheduled for June 12, we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.

Remember last week I mentioned Adam’s request that his sentencing hearing “be continued once again until a date after November 1, 2015, so that he can be sentenced pursuant to some proposed Sentencing Guidelines amendments, which may or may not be in effect as of that date and may (or may not) result in a Guidelines calculation more favorable to Adam Lacerda”? The government attorney, R. David Walk, Jr., filed a letter vigorously opposing the continuance and the Judge subsequently denied the request. However, he did push back the date to June 25 at 9:30 a.m. and I expect that to be the last time the date will be postponed.

To entertain yourselves while you wait out that additional couple of weeks, I thought you might like to see a little bit of Attny. Walk’s letter to the judge setting out his reasons for opposing the postponement request (pay special attention to the last paragraph):

Adam Lacerda has no right under the law to delay his sentencing for five months to wait for potentially more favorable Guidelines amendments, especially given that they are not certain to take effect. And if the Court grants this request, the Court then would be faced with similar requests from the 15 other Lacerda defendants awaiting sentencing, as well as countless other defendants on this Court’s docket. The law is clear that the Court need not and should not grant this requested continuance.

The Court also should consider that an additional delay in this sentencing would be unfair to the hundreds of crime victims with an interest in this sentencing. Under the Justice for All Act of 2004, 28 U.S.C. § 3771, crime victims have many enumerated rights, including the “right to full and timely restitution” and the “right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.” 28 U.S.C. § 3771(a)(6), (8). Adam Lacerda’s crime caused losses in excess of $3,000,000 to well over 300 victims. These victims have been waiting for nearly two years since the jury’s verdict for a just sentence and an award of restitution. Adam Lacerda’s many victims should not have to wait any longer. The request for an additional continuance should be denied.

Finally, Adam Lacerda also suggests a combined hearing with other defendants who share his concerns about the loss calculation, but does not identify any other defendant who actually does share his concern. This suggestion is impractical and unworkable because all defendants (save one) are being responsible for different losses than Adam Lacerda; the one defendant held responsible for the same losses, Ashley Lacerda, does not want to participate in a joint loss determination hearing. The Government opposes this suggestion for a combined hearing. The sentencing should proceed as scheduled on June 12, 2015.

Did you catch that “Ashley Lacerda, does not want to participate in a joint loss determination hearing” part? I have a feeling she just wants to get it over with.

So as of this date sentencing is set to occur as follows:

  • Adam’s sentencing date is now June 25, 2015. He was convicted on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Ashley’s sentencing date is June 26, 2015. She was convicted on 6 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.
  • Ian Resnick’s sentencing date is June 30, 2015. He was convicted on 7 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.
  • Genevieve Manzoni, who was convicted on 2 counts of conspiracy and mail fraud and found not guilty on one count of wire fraud. and is also the only one of the four who has remained free on bail, will not be sentenced until Sept. 4, 2015.

For those of you who may have come late to this case, you can get lots of details at this link

Stay tuned. Again.



“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:

NASHVILLE: In 2013 Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc. and Wyndham Vacation Management, Inc. filed a civil lawsuit against several timeshare transfer companies and their owners, citing Civil RICO, Fraud, Intentional Interference with Current and Prospective Business Relations, Breach of Contract, Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations, Procurement of Breach of Contract, violation[s] of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and Civil Conspiracy.

At that time the defendants in the case were Property Relief, LLC; IAVacations, Inc.; VP Title, LLC; C&S Resort Getaway, LLC; AJC Resort Services; TimeShare Relief, Inc.; Pacific Transfers; Robert Pickel; Stacy Gillispie; and David MacMillan.

In January 2015 I reported on that lawsuit at some length; since then some things have changed significantly. This is an update for you. If you want to read all about it (and it IS worth the read), follow me below the squiggle.

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

CAMDEN: This is the BIG month for everyone who has been involved in or following the VO Group timeshare transfer fraud case, which has been winding its way toward justice since April of 2012 when 16 people were arrested on various fraud charges related to the company’s actions.

In the end all but five of the indicted individuals pleaded guilty to various charges. The remaining five — Adam and Ashley Lacerda, Ian Resnick, Genevieve Manzoni and Joseph DiVenti — took their cases all the way to trial. DiVenti was acquitted of both of the charges against him; the other four were found guilty on Sept. 15, 2013 and have been awaiting word of their fate ever since.

They, and we, will hopefully find out this month when three of the four are set to be sentenced. BUT as of this writing the sentencing dates are still iffy. According to court documents Adam Lacerda has requested that his June 12, 2015 sentencing hearing “be continued once again until a date after November 1, 2015, so that he can be sentenced pursuant to some proposed Sentencing Guidelines amendments, which may or may not be in effect as of that date and may (or may not) result in a Guidelines calculation more favorable to Adam Lacerda”. The government attorney, R. David Walk, Jr., has filed a letter vigorously opposing the continuance but so far the judge has not ruled either way.

Neither Ashley nor Ian Resnick has made such a request at this point, so as of this date the sentencing dates remain as follows:

  • Adam’s sentencing date is June 12, 2015. He was convicted on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
  • Ashley’s sentencing date is June 26, 2015. She was convicted on 6 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.
  • Ian Resnick’s sentencing date is June 30, 2015. He was convicted on 7 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.

Genevieve Manzoni, who was convicted on 2 counts of conspiracy and mail fraud and found not guilty on one count of wire fraud. and is also the only one of the four who has remained free on bail, will not be sentenced until Sept. 4, 2015.

For those of you who may have come late to this case, you can get lots of details at this link

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: In case you didn’t notice it in the Comments, the sentencing dates for Adam and Ashley Lacerda and Ian Resnick have finally been set. I know you’re all Jonesing for this, so without further ado:

  • Adam’s sentencing date is June 12, 2015
  • Ashley’s sentencing date is June 26, 2015
  • Ian Resnick’s sentencing date is June 30, 2015

Genevieve Manzoni’s sentencing date has not yet been announced.

For those of you who may have come late to this case, you can get lots of details at this link but in the meantime here’s a brief recap of their offenses.

On Thursday, September 5, 2013, four defendants from the former VO Group (aka Vacation Ownership 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.

Adam Lacerda, co-owner of the company (which morphed into VO Financial Corp. shortly before indictments were handed down), was convicted on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

His wife Ashley Lacerda, also a co-owner of the company, was convicted on 6 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud. Money laundering charges against the pair were dropped last week.

Also convicted was Ian Resnick, a close associate and loyal friend of the Lacerdas, who was found guilty on 7 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.

The fourth guilty verdict was for Genevieve Manzoni, who was convicted on 2 counts of conspiracy and mail fraud and found not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

The Lacerdas and Resnick have been held in custody since the trial (for the better part of two years now); Manzoni has been free while she awaits her turn in front of the judge. Both VO Group and VO Financial Group are defunct.

So, barring some unexpected circumstance they and we will finally find out what kind of punishment (not counting restitution) the four will receive for their perfidy.

Apparently the dozen or so participants in the VO Group/VO Financial fraud who pleaded guilty a couple of years ago are going to have to wait until the main four are sentenced to discover their own fates.

And of course the victims of the group are still waiting for justice, so stay tuned. Eventually all will be resolved, and I’ll keep you posted.

And click here to see ALL of the Lacerda et al/VO Group scam information.



“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: In my March 21 post about the VO Group/Lacerda affair I noted that convicted felons Adam and Ashley Lacerda AND Ian Resnick had all received 60-day continuances for their sentencing dates, but that Genevieve Manzoni’s sentencing date was still set for April 10.

Nothing has changed for the Lacerdas or Resnick, but on April 8 Manzoni’s sentencing date was adjourned to a date to be set by the court in July. The document announcing that postponement didn’t make mention of why, but perhaps the court wants to sentence all four of them around the same time? shrug

Apparently the dozen or so participants in the VO Group/VO Financial fraud who pleaded guilty a couple of years ago are going to have to wait until the main four are sentenced to discover their own fates.

And of course the victims of the group are still waiting for justice, so stay tuned. Eventually all will be resolved, and I’ll keep you posted.

And click here to see ALL of the Lacerda et al/VO Group scam information.



“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: If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the impending sentencing hearing for Ashley Lacerda (who recently requested a new attorney), there will be no such event on March 24 after all so you can let your breath out. It’s going to take a while longer.

Charles H. Nugent, Jr., Esquire, counsel for Ashley Lacerda, has requested two things from Judge Noel Hillman: A continuance of the March 24, 2015 sentencing hearing and a lifting of the separation order. (The separation order refers to the court order prohibiting any contact between Ashley Lacerda and co-defendant Ian Resnick.)

Nugent cited in his request for a continuance his need for more time to review a CD containing supporting materials for the 327 victims, which U.S. Attorney R. David Walk sent on January 26, 2015. Walk also sent him a supplemental CD on March 6, 2015, with additional supporting materials for a few of those victims and supporting materials for an additional 47 victims, most of whom came to the State’s attention after they had prepared their Pre-sentencing Report.

In a letter to Judge Hillman, Walk conceded to the request for a continuance of 60 days but added this caveat:

“Because counsel will have ample time to review these documents and respond to a PSR provided in 2014, the government will oppose any future continuance requests absent extraordinary circumstances. When Ashley Lacerda and Adam Lacerda are sentenced, nearly two years will have passed since the verdict. Hundreds of victims are awaiting some measure of justice, which will only come when the defendants are sentenced and restitution is awarded. The victims should not have to wait any longer.”

His take on the lifting of the separation order took another path entirely, though. He wrote:

“Ashley Lacerda also has requested that the Court lift the separation order barring her from communicating with codefendant Ian Resnick. The government opposes this request. At trial, the Court barred Adam Lacerda, Ashley Lacerda, and Resnick from contacting each other, except through counsel, after Resnick made a clandestine attempt during trial to pass Ashley Lacerda a note outlining a plan to sabotage the trial. (Separation Order, 8/22/13, docket entry 311) The separation order also relied on the Court’s finding, based on evidence presented at trial, of probable cause to believe that Adam Lacerda, Ashley Lacerda, and Ian Resnick conspired to tamper with witnesses. (Id.)

“After trial, the Court reiterated that “Ashley Lacerda is [not] permitted to communicate in any manner whatsoever with defendant Ian Resnick, except through counsel,” when the Court lifted the separation order to allow communications between Adam and Ashley Lacerda, husband and wife with family issues. (Order, 10/16/13, docket entry 347) As a result, the current request’s only effect would be to allow Ashley Lacerda to communicate with Resnick. Given their extensive record of conspiring to tamper with witnesses and obstruct justice, and given that the Court soon will convene sentencing hearings, the Court should not allow them to communicate except through counsel. The proffered justification for lifting the order is that they want to communicate about sentencing and appellate issues, but they can communicate about those issues through counsel. The separation order should remain in place.”

The judge has agreed to both the continuance and to keeping the separation order in place.

In addition, Ian Resnick’s attorney has also requested a 60-day continuance of his sentencing date, citing the same reason: He is in the process of reviewing a second CD with additional information regarding the victims.

So as of this date, the sentencing dates for Adam and Ashley Lacerda, who founded the VO Group and VO Financial, and for Ian Resnick have not yet been set but will probably be at some date in the vicinity of May 2015 or later.

Sentencing for Genevieve Manzoni, who was found guilty of only one count and is the only one of the four main defendants to have remained free on bail, is still set for April 10, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

BTW, a while back I received a curious email that said only this:

I remember the day Ian started working at VO… he looked Ryan Bird dead in the eyes and said “this all better be legal… you better not be lying to me… I don’t want to rip people off”… and Bird said “dude… I swear… nothing illegal, we’re not wyndham”

Assuming that statement is true, court documents indicate that it didn’t take him long to fall in with the crooked crowd. What do you think?

ICYDK, Ryan Bird (a/k/a “Chris Jackson,” a/k/a “Matthew Bross,”) pleaded guilty in June 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He also admitted to collecting unemployment compensation benefits while working at the VO Group and pleaded guilty to a count charging him with applying for and collecting $18,104 in unemployment compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.

As for the rest of the defendants who pleaded guilty to various counts of fraud in this case and are awaiting news of their fate — stay tuned.

And click here to see ALL of the Lacerda et al/VO Group scam information.



“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:

NORFOLK: Another timeshare transfer company scammer, a la Keith Kosco, is awaiting his fate in Virginia on a charge of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud.

The perpetrator this time is Brendan J. Hawkins, who was arrested Dec. 4, 2014, pled guilty on Dec. 22, 2014 and is awaiting sentencing in Norfolk on April 20, 2015. That was fast, wasn’t it?

According to court documents, the primary purpose of the conspiracy to which Hawkins pled guilty was for the defendant and other conspirators (unnamed) “to obtain funds by conducting fraudulent transfers of timeshare properties to unqualified purchasers through the use of false and fraudulent material representations and promises.”

Specifically he and the conspirators operated through various business entities, including GoodBye Timeshare, LLC a/k/a Good Buy Vacations, lately allegedly rebranded as Endless Escapes (he is the President/CEO of GoodBye/Good Buy, which he apparently started in 2008). In doing so, the conspirators and others on their behalf solicited timeshare owners to hire GoodBye to have their timeshare property legitimately transferred to a new owner for a fee. Can you guess the rest?

The conspirators recruited “straw buyers” to agree to receive transferred interests in timeshare properties, with a set fee ranging from approximately $25-$35 for each individual transfer. These straw buyers had neither the intention nor the resources to satisfy the financial obligations of timeshare property ownership.

The prosecution says that from 2011 through 2013, in connection with the scheme, conspirators, including Hawkins, in the Eastern District of Virginia caused the transfer of approximately 230 timeshare properties to straw buyers, who had no intention of fulfilling the obligations of ownership, thereby causing losses to timeshare resorts.

The maximum penalties for this offense are a maximum term of five (5) years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, full restitution, forfeiture of assets, a special assessment, and three (3) years of supervised release. While he waits, he had to turn over his passport and is prohibited from opening any new bank accounts, credit card accounts, loans or lines of credit without permission of the Probation Office. He is also prohibited from any self-employment or involvement in operations of GoodBye Timeshare.

Hawkins is married to Tara Dow Hawkins, who is listed under her maiden name as President/CEO of a company called Endless Resort Options, LLC. ERO has been a BBB accredited business since 2009 and they say the company has been in business since 1996 — but according to the state of Virginia the date of Formation/Registration of the company was 6/16/2014 with Tara Lynn Dow as the registered agent (their website was also registered in June 2014) and it was registered as a foreign corporation in Florida in Oct. 2014 — so what’s up with that? Maybe they used to operate under a different name or as a sole proprietorship or something? It’s hard to tell from the 2-page website exactly what the company does, though in a Dec. press release from TrackResults Software ERO is mentioned thusly: “ERO is a Virginia based company specializing in sales and marketing for developers and HOA’s”.

Here are some screenshots from Brendan’s Facebook page:

Brendan and Tara Hawkins (left) at ARDA World 2013

Brendan and Tara Hawkins (left) at ARDA World 2013

Brendan Hawkins' House in Virginia (2013)

Brendan & Tara’s house in Williamsburg, VA

Tara Dow Hawkins' new car, 2013

Tara Dow Hawkins' new car, 2013

Under the plea agreement Hawkins has agreed “to forfeit all interests in any mail fraud related asset that the defendant owns or over which the defendant exercises control, directly or indirectly, as well as any property that is traceable to, derived from, fungible with, or a substitute for property that constitutes the proceeds of his offense, or facilitating property or property involved in the offense. The defendant further agrees to waive all interest in the asset(s) in any administrative or judicial forfeiture proceeding, whether criminal or civil, state or federal.”

As you can see from the above screen shots, Brendan and Tara have been living large in Williamsburg. Since property subject to forfeiture in this case includes but is not limited to the sum of at least $546,904, I’m wondering how many of their luxury items will be on the chopping block, though rumor has it that they sold their house and were on their way “south” before things, er, changed.

Both Brendan and Tara used to be Vice Presidents for Wyndham Vacation Ownership in various regions (she in San Francisco where this wrongful discharge lawsuit mentions her name, he in Williamsburg) before they struck out on their own. Have you noticed that more than a few crooks and liars have graduated out of the Wyndham VO organization and proceeded to “pillage the village”, so to speak? Including the VO Group/VO Financial crowd (Adam & Ashley Lacerda, Ian Resnick, Ryan Bird and several others).

Is it something in the water?


“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: Here’s a brief update on the state of affairs in the Adam and Ashley Lacerda (et al) timeshare fraud case, associated with the VO Group and VO Financial.

Taking it from the top:

Adam Lacerda’s sentencing date was set for March 23, but his attorney has requested a continuance of at least 60 days due to conflicts in his schedule. The government has consented to the continuance but the Court has not yet set a new date.

Ashley Lacerda has requested a new attorney (the minutes outlining the reasons for that have been sealed) but that doesn’t seem to have affected her sentencing hearing date, which is currently still set for March 24, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel Hillman.

Sentencing for Genevieve Manzoni, who was found guilty of only one count and is the only one of the four main defendants to have remained free on bail, is set for April 10, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

And Ian Resnick’s sentencing hearing is set for April 8, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.

So the final countdown has begun. As for the multiple defendants who pled guilty to various counts of fraud in this case and are awaiting news of their fate — 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:

NEWPORT NEWS: There isn’t a whole lot of new news to report on the Keith Kosco timeshare transfer scandal, but for what it’s worth you might be interested in these tidbits.

Down Mexico way, Kosco’s Number 1 right-hand person Tania Blanco Pugh has apparently opened up a new spinoff company called Priority Exchange Services (formerly Elite Equity Transfers, formerly Priority Exchange Network et al). See for yourself: Go to ScamAudit.com. In the search bar type in priorityexchangeservices.com and scroll down to where it says Contact Details and… you guessed it… the registrant is Tania Blanco Pugh.

At the very least she is the official owner (registrant) of the domain name for the very new website (created Dec. 12, 2014). The website itself goes straight to a log-in page and there’s no way to see what else there might be if you don’t have the log-in information.

Look at the WhoIs:

Registrant Name: Tania Blanco Pugh
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 5332 Gardner Ct
Registrant City: Williamsburg
Registrant State/Province: Virginia
Registrant Postal Code: 23188
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Phone: +1.7577716078
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: tania.blancop@xxxxxxxxx.com

The given address belongs to a townhome in Williamsburg, VA, purchased for $145,000 in 2013; I wonder who owns the home?

Is Tania going out on her own, or was that something new that Kosco was working on before he was arrested? Is it of interest that the name “Priority Exchange Services” is not registered as a business entity in the state of Virginia?

Another thing: The domain name for Priority Exchange Network is registered to Keith Kosco, using the Williamsburg address for Resort Solutions et al. So why is the new spinoff registered to Tania?

Another thing that I’ve been pondering is this: When Adam and Ashley Lacerda were first indicted for the VO Group fraud in New Jersey (April 2012) a total of nine people were included in the indictment. Fast forward to January 2013 and a new superseding indictment replaced the original one, with additional charges and additional people added to the original case. In all 16 people were eventually arraigned for various crimes.

Most of those people sang like birds to save themselves. So I’m wondering how many of Kosco’s employees have been interviewed by the Feds, how much help Julie Duffield and Keith himself will be to the Feds, and if a superseding indictment naming more defendants is in the works? Because, you know, he didn’t do all the dirty work all by himself…

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: This is just a brief update on the state of affairs in the Adam and Ashley Lacerda (et al) timeshare fraud case, associated with the VO Group and VO Financial.

The sentencing dates for the Lacerdas have not changed: Adam Lacerda is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. Ashley Lacerda is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 10:30 a.m

For Ian Resnick, a hearing regarding sentencing in his case has been reset for 4/8/2015. No such hearing has yet been set for Genevieve Manzoni, who is still out on bail awaiting word about a possible new trial.

Sentencing for Joseph Saxon, a sentencing date will be determined at some point after the sentencing of the Lacerdas in late March 2015.

There is no fresh news regarding sentencing dates for Ryan Bird, Catherine Bannigan, Jeffrey Sawyer, Steven Cox, Alfred Giordano, Francis Santore, and Eric Rieff.. There’s been nothing in the court records since late 2013.

ADDED: Dennis Nadeau 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, 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.” No sentencing date has been set that I am aware of.

Stay tuned. When I know anything new I’ll pass it promptly to you.



“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 GateHouseQUOTABLE QUOTES: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets.


Per Google: In 2014 we searched trillions of times. What do these searches say about us? Explore the Year in Search http://www.google.com/2014 and follow the conversation on #YearInSearch

And then Google presented us with their own video about it, which is pretty nice.

What did people search for in order to find us here at InsideTheGate/The GateHouse in 2014? Here are the top ten keyphrases that brought new readers to our websites:

  1. adam lacerda by name and, cumulatively, other search terms relating to the VO Group trial
  2. timeshare news/timeshare blog
  3. timeshare jobs
  4. mexico timeshare fraud and, cumulatively, other search terms relating to timeshare resale/rental/recovery scams operating in Mexico, including names of fraudulent companies
  5. costa rica timeshare scam and, cumulatively, other search terms relating to alleged scams in the Coco Bay area of Guanacaste
  6. timeshare sales license
  7. timeshare sales training tips
  8. club landor complaints
  9. scoop timeshare
  10. timeshare relief scam

What will everyone be searching for in 2015? I hope it will involve fewer scams and much more news on the positive side. (You can help by contributing your own good news, hint hint ;) )


“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