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

LAS VEGAS: Earlier this month I told you about a new resort on the Big Island of Hawaii that Diamond Resorts is planning to build in conjunction with Och-Ziff Real Estate. “Planning” is the operative word there, as it is still subject to various conditions, permitting, etc.

So here’s something more concrete in DRI’s getting-BIGGER world: The company is in the process of acquiring Virginia’s Gold Key Resorts $167.5 million, which will add 6 new resorts to Diamond’s portfolio. So what exactly will Diamond be getting for the money? In short, according to the 8K document filed with the SEC:

    On August 14, 2015, Diamond Resorts Corporation (“DRC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diamond Resorts International, Inc. (the “Company”), entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Ocean Beach Club, LLC, Gold Key Resorts, LLC, Professional Hospitality Resources, Inc., Vacation Rentals, LLC and Resort Promotions, Inc. (collectively, the “Gold Key Companies”). The Gold Key Companies manage vacation ownership resorts in Virginia Beach, VA and the Outer Banks, NC. Pursuant to the Asset Purchase Agreement, DRC has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of the Gold Key Companies relating to their operation of their vacation ownership business in exchange for approximately $167.5 million, subject to adjustment in accordance with the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement. An aggregate of $5 million of the purchase price will be deposited into an escrow account and held by an escrow agent to secure the obligations of the Gold Key Companies under the Asset Purchase Agreement. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.

    Upon the closing of the acquisition contemplated by the Asset Purchase Agreement, which is subject to customary closing conditions, DRC will acquire management contracts, real property interests, unsold vacation ownership interests and other assets of the Gold Key Companies, adding six additional managed resorts to the Company’s resort network. The Asset Purchase Agreement includes customary representations, warranties and covenants by the respective parties, including, among others, indemnification covenants and a covenant restricting the Gold Key Companies from entertaining, soliciting or encouraging any alternative acquisition proposals.

The purchase includes the Beach Quarters Resort, Turtle Cay Resort, Boardwalk Resort and Villas, Ocean Beach Club and Oceanaire Resort Hotel, all in Virginia Beach, as well as Gold Key’s recently purchased Barrier Island Station resort in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (renamed Beachwoods) which is under renovation.

Of course this purchase makes DRI the predominant vacation ownership player in the Hampton Roads area, not a bad place to be.

What is NOT included in the sale are parent company Gold Key | PHR’s historic Cavalier Hotel, the company’s two Hilton hotels at the Oceanfront or its interests in The Main, a downtown Norfolk hotel under construction. Gold Key | PHR’s CEO Bruce Thompson intends to use funds from the sale of the timeshare properties to continue developing new projects in Hampton Roads and the East Coast. That might be interesting to watch.

For those of you interested in the legal side of things, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Ballard Spahr LLP represented Diamond Resorts in its purchase and BakerHostetler worked as counsel to Gold Key.

Do you suppose DRI has any other company in its sights to be absorbed into the Body? Or are they done for the time being?

ALSO IN LAS VEGAS: James Assi Jariv, who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison on timeshare resale telemarketing scam charges in Texas, has now been sentenced to an additional 10 years for biofuel fraud in Nevada.

James was sentenced for his role in illegal schemes to generate fraudulent biodiesel credits and to export biodiesel without providing biodiesel credits to the United States. Jariv was also ordered to make restitution in the amount of $6,345,830.91 and to forfeit between $4 to $6 million in cash and other assets. For details of the crimes he committed, click here.

Meanwhile, James Jariv’s 28-year-old son Alexander has also pleaded guilty to charges in the biofuels case. Originally his sentencing was set for August 18, 2015, but that date has been pushed back. The reason for that postponement is that Alexander is set to be sentenced in the Texas resale fraud case on Sept. 14 and the Nevada prosecution agreed to wait for that sentence to be handed down before receiving his sentence in Las Vegas.

All of the remaining defendants in that resale fraud case are to be sentenced at the same time and the date for all of them is 9/14/2015 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes. To be sentenced on that date are: Alexander Jariv, Leon Avedikian, Thresa Lloyd, Michael Derek Muise and Ronald Frank Muise (aka William Blair, Anthony Sabella, John Conti, Anthony Russo and Brian Chambers).

Therefore, we can look forward to two sentencing dates for Alexander in September: The first in Houston on Sept. 14 and the second in Las Vegas sometime during the week of September 21-25, 2015.

What I wonder about is this: Will the Jariv father and son serve their sentences consecutively or concurrently? In other words, will James serve his 10 years for resale fraud and then serve his 10 years for biofuels fraud, for a total of 20 years in the slammer? Or will it eventually work out to a total of 10 years with both sentences being served at the same time? Keeping in mind that James is 64 years old, either way could amount to a life sentence for him.

Inquiring minds want to know.




“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>> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS

LAS VEGAS: Last week I reported that James Assi Jariv, operator of a multimillion dollar timeshare fraud case that was operated out of Las Vegas, NV but prosecuted in Texas, has finally been sentenced for his crimes. He got a measly 10 years, if you remember. He had pleaded guilty on May 18, 2015 to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail & Wire Fraud in Connection with Telemarketing and one count of Conspiracty to Launder Monetary Instruments..

I also mentioned that August 5 was the date set for his sentencing in the biofuels fraud case against him and his Australian partner in crime Nathan Stoliar, but I was mistaken about that; although on April 28 the Court docket shows “sentencing and disposition set for 8/5/2015 at 1:30 PM in LV Courtroom 6C before Judge Andrew P. Gordon” there is no current indication in the documents that such a sentencing was carried out, nor is there any mention of a future sentencing. All we have is this notation:

MOTION to Adjust the Amounts for the Victims’ Restitution, Enter a Restitution Order at Jariv’s Sentence, and Enter the Proposed Final Order of Forfeiture by USA as to James “Assi” I. Jariv, Nathan “Nati” Stoliar. Responses due by 8/21/2015. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. 1 – Victim List)(Hollingsworth, Daniel) (Entered: 08/04/2015)

UPDATE: Wrong again. Jariv was indeed sentenced on August 5; the information just hadn’t shown up in the court records yet. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the same sentence he got in Houston for his timeshare resale scams. The question now is, will he serve both sentences at the same time, or one after the other?

shrug What DID happen on August 5 was that the Court issued its Final Order of Forfeiture. At least as of this writing that is the most recent document available.

There are 40 separate items mentioned included in the forfeiture, including real estate, cars, jewelry and bank accounts among other things. Also noted: IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that any and all forfeited funds, including but not limited to, currency, currency equivalents, certificates of deposit, as well as any income derived as a result of the United States of America’s management of any property forfeited herein, and the proceeds from the sale of any forfeited property shall be disposed of according to law.

It’s all too much to be included in this space, but as an example the first three items include:

    1. $50,000 in lieu of the 2013 Infiniti QX56 bearing a Nevada license plate registered to Choi Belding;
    2. 2011 Infiniti QX56 bearing a Nevada license plate registered to Jiwon and James Jariv;
    3. $1,140,000 in lieu of real property located at 2289 Buckingham Court, Henderson, NV, which included several parcels.

Counting all of the bank accounts that have been seized it amounts to several millions of dollars.

As a recap of this particular case: In January 2014 James Assi Jariv (who was already facing trial for timeshare-related fraud in Texas) and Australian Nathan Stoliar, 64, were indicted in a 57-count indictment alleging conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to engage in money laundering in a biofuels fraud case.

Stoliar pleaded guilty in July 2014 to one count of conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, two counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements under the Clean Air Act. Stoliar is required by the plea to forfeit $4 million and pay $1 million in restitution. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering and wire fraud, five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements under the Clean Air Act.

In the end, he was sentenced April 20, 2015 to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release with special conditions.

BTW, Jariv’s son Alexander Jariv has pleaded guilty in the same case to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, make false statements and launder monetary instruments.

Watch this space for the final dispensation of justice.




“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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

We’ve got two (count ’em) convictions/sentences to celebrate in Texas this week, both for perpetrators of timeshare resale scams that netted the grifters millions of dollars. So let’s get right to it.

DALLAS: Fabian C. Fleifel (mug shot below) may have operated his resale scams out of boiler rooms in Florida but he went to trial for it and got convicted in The Big D. The estimated $10 million resort timeshare telemarketing fraud conspiracy victimized at least 5000 individuals across the USA and Canada, with dozens of them being Texas residents.

Fabian Fleifel's mugshotFollowing a nine-day trial a federal jury has found him guilty on all 26 counts of an indictment returned in the Northern District of Texas in October 2012. Those counts include:

  • one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud;
  • nineteen counts of mail fraud telemarketing;
  • and six counts of wire fraud telemarketing.

The jury also found that the conspiracy count affected a financial institution and that the wire fraud and mail fraud counts were in connection with the conduct of telemarketing that victimized ten or more persons over the age of 55. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine on the conspiracy conviction and 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the other 25 convictions. Additionally, the telemarketing enhancements permit the Judge to impose up to an additional 10 years imprisonment. Judge Fitzwater temporarily remanded him into custody following the verdict.

Fleifel hired and trained telemarketers to work in boiler rooms he set up. These telemarketers were instructed to call timeshare owners using scripted sales pitches that falsely represented, for example, that a bona fide buyer was interested in buying their property, that the buyer had paid money into an escrow account, and that the buyer was ready to close on the property. The telemarketers falsely advised timeshare owners that they would receive all the funds from the sale within days, they must pay a one-time fee to cover the title search and other closing costs, and they would be refunded all fees paid if the sale did not close within 90 days.

After the conspirators obtained money from the timeshare owners, they made additional false and fraudulent statements to lull them and to keep them from investigating the transactions, complaining to law enforcement, or requesting charge backs to their credit cards.

Besides Fleifel, eleven other conspirators were involved who have pleaded guilty to various counts of fraud. They are

  • Edmond Charles Burke, 34, of Sanford, Florida
  • Kari Lynn Cash, 46, of Winter Park, Florida;
  • Kevin Jacob Frater, 35, of Longwood, Florida;
  • Bradley James Gomez, 36, of Longwood, Florida;
  • Rani F. Khoury, 40, of Lake Mary, Florida;
  • Courtney Darrell Lister, 39, of Midland, Texas;
  • Joseph Bud Ramos, 27, of Tennessee;
  • Armanda Nadine Rizkallah, 32, of Oviedo, Florida;
  • Eric Rosado, of Orlando, Florida,
  • Kevin Sanchez of Orlando, Florida
  • Cesar Trinidad of Apopka, Florida

They are all awaiting sentencing.


HOUSTON: Meanwhile, James Assi Jariv, operator of the multimillion dollar timeshare fraud case that was operated out of Las Vegas, NV but prosecuted in Texas, has finally been sentenced for his crimes. If you’re one of his victims you’ll be pleased to know he’ll be spending a long time in the Big House.

Jarive pleaded guilty on May 18, 2015 to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail & Wire Fraud in Connection with Telemarketing and one count of Conspiracty to Launder Monetary Instruments.

For each of the two counts the Judge sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison and 3 years of supervised release, but the terms run concurrently so his total sentence will be just that: 10 years in the slammer plus the 3 years of supervised release.

In addition he will be responsible for restitution in the amount of $5,062,888.73

As of this writing sentencing for co-defendants Alexander Jariv, Ronald Frank Muise, Leon Avedikian, Thresa Lloyd and Michael Derek Muise is still set for 8/17/2015 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

Meanwhile in Nevada, the forfeiture order against Jariv will be sentenced will be issued on August 5, 2015 for his role in a bio-fuels scam. There were 57 counts charged against him and he has pleaded guilty to Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3 & 15: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; and Count 52: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting.

So when all is said and done it looks like he’ll ultimately be spending more than that 10 years in prison.

You can get more details here and here.

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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: It looks like the multimillion dollar timeshare fraud case against James Jariv, et al, is finally on its last legs. On Monday, May 18, James became the final criminal of the group to plead guilty in connection with a telemarketing fraud and money laundering scheme spanning nearly five years.

Between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2012, the defendants deposited into eight bank accounts approximately $6,925,137.04 in fraudulently-obtained timeshare owner funds. Some victims reversed the charges or withdrawals, leaving approximately $5,945,433.04 in victim funds in possession of, and subsequently transferred into, other accounts controlled by the defendants. The funds in the eight victim deposit accounts were all traceable to payments received from victims.

As a result of pleas from all charged defendants, the U.S. has recovered more than $2 million for restitution to victims, many of whom are more than 55 years of age. Money judgments in both the civil forfeiture action and the criminal cases have been obtained to assist the United States in recovering the balance of the $5,945,433.04 restitution that is expected to be a part of the sentences.

The fraud conspiracy conviction carries a maximum imprisonment of 20 years in federal prison. However, because the wire/mail fraud involved telemarketing that involved 10 or more victims older than 55, federal law provides for an additional 10-year-sentence after the one imposed for the underlying conviction. Jariv also faces up to 20 years imprisonment for the money laundering conspiracy.

The pretrial diversion hearing for Jiwon Jariv, mentioned in this post, was held on May 18 and an agreement was entered, but the record has been sealed so I really can’t tell you what happened there.

James Jariv is set for sentencing July 27, 2015, while sentencing for co-defendants Alexander Jariv, Ronald Frank Muise, Leon Avedikian, Thresa Lloyd and Michael Derek Muise is set for 8/17/2015 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

Originally on bond, James Jariv was taken into custody following an arrest for an unrelated bio-fuels fraud scheme in Nevada. He will remain in federal custody pending sentencing.

Meanwhile in Nevada, Jariv will be sentenced on August 5, 2015 for his role in the bio-fuels scam. There were 57 counts charged against him and he has pleaded guilty to Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3 & 15: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; and Count 52: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting.

You can get more details here and here.

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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

LAS VEGAS: It’s all over but the shouting for James Assi Jariv in the biofuels fraud case.

Jariv has reached a plea deal with the government, but he won’t be sentenced until August 5, 2015. There were 57 counts charged against him and he has pleaded guilty to Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3 & 15: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; and Count 52: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting.

He will continue to be held in jail while he awaits sentencing, though he may have to make a trip to Texas on May 18 for a rearraignment hearing in the timeshare telemarketing fraud case pending there. He is required by the court to appear in person for that event. (It looks like a plea deal may have been reached in that case, too, though I’m not sure about that.)

As part of this plea deal in Nevada Jarive has agreed to the abandonment or the criminal forfeiture of $4 million in US Currency plus a boatload of personal assets like cars, condominiums and many plats of land in Nevada and California. But he won’t be needing any of those things where he’ll be going…

Meanwhile in Houston, TX, the case against James, Varda and Jiwon Jariv is coming to a close as well.

Varda Jariv has pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Launder Money Instruments. She has been sentenced to 5 years probation and restitution in the amount of $439,911.51.

As for Jiwon Jariv, a Pretrial Diversion hearing has been set for May 18, a pretrial diversion being a diversion program which is offered to certain offenders who qualify for participation as an alternative to prosecution. “The program is designed to meet the needs of certain nonviolent offenders in an attempt to deter their future criminal or disorderly behavior; to minimize loss to victims of these crimes through payment of restitution by the offender; to serve the courts by reducing the number of less serious cases, permitting more time for the more serious crimes; and to protect the community by closely supervising the accused following arrest until final disposition of the case.”

I dunno, it sounds a lot like a kind of probation/supervised release to me.

I’ll let you know how things work out in Texas, but for the most part it looks like this deal is done.

Stay tuned for word of James’ sentencing in August.



“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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: Have James Assi Jariv and the Government agreed to a plea deal in Jariv’s timeshare-related fraud case? The documents don’t show that, but the docket might be indicating that. What it says is that on April 7 a Notice of Setting was filed as to James Jariv, with a rearraignment set for May 18, 2015 before Judge Lynn N. Hughes. He has already been arraigned once, when he pleaded not guilty after he was first arrested. Now he is being hauled before the court to be informed of the charges against him AGAIN and to enter a plea AGAIN. What does that mean?

James, along with Varda and Jiwon Jariv, currently stand indicted on charges of 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail & wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and 2 counts of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. The docket report still shows a trial date of April 21 for Varda and Jiwon, though it sure looks like James will not be joining them.

Meanwhile, out further west in Nevada, a Change of Plea Hearing in the James’ bio-fuels fraud case has been set for April 28, 2015 in Las Vegas, and just in case that doesn’t go as planned his jury trial in the case has been continued to May 11, 2015. So does he possibly have a plea deal in the works in both Texas and Nevada?

The charges against him in Nevada are as follows: Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3-51: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 52-55: False Statements (Clean Air Act) and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 56-57: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting. The charges refer to his role in a scheme to bilk a U.S. biodiesel fuel program out of more than $41 million.

You may remember that his partner in crime in the bio-fuels scam, Australian Nathan Stoliar, pleaded guilty last July to two counts of wire fraud and one count each of conspiracy, conspiracy to engage in money laundering and making false statements under the Clean Air Act. Under the agreement he must forfeit $4 million and pay $1 million restitution. He faces up to 69 years in prison and $2 million in fines at his Oct. 30 sentencing.

BTW, why can’t I find any pictures of James Assi Jariv? Was he camera shy? If you have one, why not share? 😉

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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

LAS VEGAS: Here’s an update for you on the cases against James Assi Jariv (et al) in Nevada and Texas.

The bio-fuel fraud case in Las Vegas, NV is still dragging along. His trial had been set for February 9, 2015, but it has been rescheduled once again, apparently because the plea deal they were working for hit a snag. Anyhow, a continuance has been granted and a jury trial has now been set for April 13, 2015 at 8:45 a.m. in LV Courtroom 6C before Judge Andrew P. Gordon. Calendar Call reset for 4/8/2015 08:45 AM in LV.

In the meantime the government has been busy selling assets to aid in restitution for his victims — things like a 6-bedroom home in Tarzana, CA; cars; etc.

The charges against him in Nevada are as follows: Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3-51: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 52-55: False Statements (Clean Air Act) and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 56-57: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting.

I’m thinking that the trial date may have to be moved again, though, because the prosecution against James Assi Jariv, Varda Jariv and Jiwon Jariv in the Texas timeshare resale fraud case has a pretrial conference set for the same date and a jury trial for April 21, 2015 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

In that case James, Varda and Jiwon Jariv were indicted on charges of 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail & wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and 2 counts of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Their trial was originally scheduled to begin on October 7, 2014 but as you can see — things change.

He remains in custody in Nevada while he waits.

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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: For those of you who’ve been asking (or wondering) about the sentencing of Alexander Jariv , Ronald Frank Muise, Leon Avedikian, Thresa Lloyd and Michael Derek Muise — all of whom have accepted plea deals for their roles in a massive timeshare telemarketing fraud — their sentencing date has been rescheduled for August 17, 2015.

As an aside, you may be interested in knowing some of the aliases Ronald Muise has used, according to court documents: William Blair, Anthony Sabella, John Conti, Anthony Russo and Brian Chambers. I wonder how many others he’s used that we don’t know about?

As for James, Varda and Jiwon Jariv, they were indicted on charges of 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail & wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and 2 counts of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Their trial was originally scheduled to begin on October 7, 2014 but the prosecution filed an unopposed motion to set it back to sometime in December 2014 because the government and defense attorneys were trying to reach a deal that would avoid the necessity of taking up the Court’s time and resources with a trial and the government’s time and resources preparing to present the case. It was then rescheduled again and as of today their jury trials are still scheduled for April 21, 2015 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

Meanwhile, the case against James Jariv concerning bio-fuel fraud in Las Vegas, NV is dragging along, too. If you’re interested, the charges against him in Nevada are as follows: Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Offenses and to Defraud the United States; Count 2: Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments; Counts 3-51: Wire Fraud and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 52-55: False Statements (Clean Air Act) and Aiding & Abetting; Counts 56-57: Obstruction of Justice and Aiding & Abetting.

As I previously noted, that jury trial, which had been scheduled for December 1, 2014, was continued to February 9, 2015 at 09:00 AM in LV Courtroom 6C before Judge Andrew P. Gordon. But that may change if he reaches a plea deal prior to that date. He has been remanded to custody in Las Vegas while he waits.

Follow below the squiggle for more details on the resale fraud case.squiggly

Read the rest of this post »

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

HOUSTON: Apparently the previously mentioned negotiations for plea deals with James Jarive, his former wife Varda and current wife Jiwon didn’t work out. A trial date for the three, who are the only remaining defendants in the Jariv timeshare resale telemarketing fraud trial case, has been reset (again).

The pretrial conference has been reset for April 13, 2015 and the jury trial has been reset for April 21, 2015 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

Indicted on charges of 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail & wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and 2 counts of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, the Jarivs’ trial was scheduled to begin on October 7, 2014 but the prosecution filed an unopposed motion to set it back to sometime in December 2014 because the government and defense attorneys were trying to reach a deal that would avoid the necessity of taking up the Court’s time and resources with a trial and the government’s time and resources preparing to present the case.

Alas.

To recap: James Jariv and seven others were arrested in Nov. 2012 in Las Vegas, NV but the case was transferred to Houston, TX where they were also wanted on the same charges. According to the indictment, between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2012, the defendants would and did victimize approximately 1000 victims living in Canada and throughout the United States including the Southern District of Texas, and deposited into eight bank accounts approximately $6,925,137.04 in fraudulently obtained timeshare owner funds. Approximately $5,945,433.04 in victim funds were retained by, and subsequently transferred into, other accounts controlled by the defendants.

The Jariv companies were registered in various states, including Texas, Nevada, California, Illinois and Washington and conducted business at multiple addresses in Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, according to court records.

The defendants allegedly used mailing addresses or “virtual office suites” in Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle for receiving monies from timeshare owners via U.S. Mail or commercial interstate carriers like Fed Ex, all the while maintaining call center offices in Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago, and the greater Los Angeles-area from which the defendants, using telephones and email, contacted and communicated with timeshare owners, in an alleged scheme to defraud the timeshare owners of money.

The two conspiracy counts carry a maximum imprisonment of 20 years in federal prison but because the wire/mail fraud involved telemarketing that involved 10 or more victims over the age of 55, federal law provides for an additional 10-year sentence in addition to the sentence imposed for mail or wire fraud.

Meanwhile, the case against James Jariv concerning bio-fuel fraud in Las Vegas, NV is dragging along, too. That jury trial, which had been scheduled for December 1, 2014, has been continued to February 9, 2015 at 09:00 AM in LV Courtroom 6C before Judge Andrew P. Gordon. Stay tuned for news of that, too.



“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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: It appears that the upcoming trial of James Jarive, his former wife Varda and current wife Jiwon may be postponed one more time. The three are the only remaining defendants in the Jariv timeshare resale telemarketing fraud trial case, all the other defendants having accepted plea deals.

Indicted on charges of 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail & wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and 2 counts of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, the Jarivs’ trial was scheduled to begin on October 7, 2014 but the prosecution has filed an unopposed motion to set it back to sometime in December 2014.

Why?

Well, per the court document the government and the defense attorneys have met several times in an effort to resolve this matter without a lengthy trial. The parties are in the process of finalizing the details but need additional time to complete these efforts.

The government advised the defense that it will soon begin trial preparations but all parties believe there is a strong likelihood of resolving the case without having the government begin its preparations if the trial date is delayed until December. This would avoid the necessity of taking up the Court’s time and resources with a trial and the government’s time and resources preparing to present the case. This would also allow the defendants to receive the benefit of one additional offense level reduction for pleading sufficiently in advance of trial.

So the parties asked the Court to continue the trial date to December, 2014 and it’s unlikely that the court will object. Stay tuned for news of that.

James Jariv and seven others were arrested in Nov. 2012 in Las Vegas, NV but the case was transferred to Houston, TX where they were also wanted on the same charges. According to the indictment, between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2012, the defendants would and did victimize approximately 1000 victims living in Canada and throughout the United States including the Southern District of Texas, and deposited into eight bank accounts approximately $6,925,137.04 in fraudulently obtained timeshare owner funds. Approximately $5,945,433.04 in victim funds were retained by, and subsequently transferred into, other accounts controlled by the defendants.

The Jariv companies were registered in various states, including Texas, Nevada, California, Illinois and Washington and conducted business at multiple addresses in Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, according to court records.

The defendants allegedly used mailing addresses or “virtual office suites” in Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle for receiving monies from timeshare owners via U.S. Mail or commercial interstate carriers like Fed Ex, all the while maintaining call center offices in Las Vegas, Houston, Chicago, and the greater Los Angeles-area from which the defendants, using telephones and email, contacted and communicated with timeshare owners, in an alleged scheme to defraud the timeshare owners of money.

The two conspiracy counts carry a maximum imprisonment of 20 years in federal prison but because the wire/mail fraud involved telemarketing that involved 10 or more victims over the age of 55, federal law provides for an additional 10-year sentence in addition to the sentence imposed for mail or wire fraud.

Meanwhile, the case against James Jariv concerning bio-fuel fraud in Las Vegas, NV is dragging along with nothing new to report at this time. Stay tuned for news of that, too.



“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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

LAS VEGAS: There’s plenty to report from Vegas this week, so let’s start with the upbeat part: It’s a done deal, and if you’re in town and happen to drive past the former Las Vegas Hilton Hotel you’ll see it for yourself.

Westgate Las Vegas signageWestgate Resorts’ logo is now all over the place; the resort has been thoroughly branded.

David Siegel himself, along with Clark County Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Tom Collins, ceremonially lifted the big W to begin adding Westgate’s name to the famous fan-shaped marquee at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. And not just any old way; at 20 ft. 1 in. tall the letters are the tallest signage letters on any marquee in the city.

Here’s David Siegel standing triumphantly in front of the big W as it’s about to be added to the marquee. (Do any of you remember “the Big W” in the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”?)

David Siegel and the Big WA pair of Las Vegas showgirls and dozens of Westgate team members were on hand to celebrate the occasion. Siegel plans to invest more than $250 million to renovate every square inch of the property and chose to save the jobs of 2,200 team members when he took over the resort. They also created and are currently hiring for more than 200 positions in departments including engineering, maintenance and housekeeping to work on renovations and other new programs that are being developed.

It’s all good. And doesn’t the marquee look nice with a timeshare company’s name on it?

ALSO IN LAS VEGAS:
The old travel club software scam is apparently alive and well in Sin City, this time via an entity called Prestigious Software Ltd., with an alter ego called Prestige Software. Here is the email that started me down this particular rabbit hole:

We were sold a “travel Club” software usage plan evidently. Promised they would take and sell our time shares, give us 12 weeks of vacation, would never have to spend over $199/week at any condo. The only time we could not get this price was exampled as the Daytona 500 weekend or New York City on New Year’s Eve. We were also told of free cruised [sic], greatly reduced hotel rates, and we could recoup our money by renting 6 weeks per year. We were not told about the additional fees and another company would sell our timeshare, and another huge fee to another company to rent our weeks. The company that we secure our vacation weeks is still another company.

Aside from the obvious clues in that email, why would I think this operation is not on the up-and-up? Let’s start by googling the name Cristine/Christine Arpon, who shows up as the P/T/D of the company. As it turns out, that name is associated with quite a string of similar companies, all of which have reputations of being fraudulent.

  • On her LinkedIn Page she shows herself as the CEO at Prestigious Vacation (which is not a registered Nevada business entity) since March 2012;
  • the Southern Nevada BBB has her as the President of VIP SoftwareLV LLC (incorporated May 2010, license revoked) and gives the company an “F”; the website at http://www.vacationpriorityrewards.net acknowledges that sales have stopped but service “for the license you own” continues.
  • She is also associated with the following business entities originally incorporated in Nevada but now revoked: VIP SOFTWARENV LLC; Elite Marketing; Vacation Priority Rewards Inc. (incorporated in May 2010, currently in default); and the infamous WORLDWIDE RESORT CLUB LLC

Per this thread on TripAdvisor and the BBB as well as several other online sources, Prestige Software is an aka for Worldwide Resort Club, which was previously known as VIP Software. Note that Nevada does not show any registration for Prestige Software as a business entity in the state.

BUT, you can find out more about it all in this Oct. 2012 post I wrote: A company called Elite Marketing is promoting a deal where you will be to purchase a license from Prestige Software that will let you be your own travel agent and/or to book (timeshare) vacations all over the world at really cheap prices.

Other names associated with those outfits to varying degrees are Shehnaaz Pirbhai; Manaf Virji; Catherine McClintock; and James T. McClintock.

And once you pay any of those folks or any of their several companies, lots of luck trying to get your money back. My suggestions: Talk to the Nevada Attorney General’s office about what happened; file a complaint with the FTC; complain to the BBB and any other regulatory agency you can think of. Contact your local news station (or one in Las Vegas) to see if they’d be interested in airing a report on what you believe to be a questionable Las Vegas business, as a warning to other potential victims. Then let Prestigious Software et al know you have done so and that they’ve also been fingered in The GateHouse.

Daylight is the best disinfectant.

AND:
In January 2014 James Assi Jariv, 63, and Australian Nathan Stoliar, 64, were indicted in a 57-count indictment alleging conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to engage in money laundering in a biofuels fraud case.

Following his indictment, Stoliar’s arrest was sought by the United States. Located in Poland, Stoliar returned in early February to the United States to surrender for arrest. Stoliar pleaded guilty on July 29 to one count of conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, two counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements under the Clean Air Act. Stoliar is required by the plea to forfeit $4 million and pay $1 million in restitution. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each count of conspiracy to engage in money laundering and wire fraud, five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy, and two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements under the Clean Air Act.

“With this guilty plea, the defendant admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to defraud the United States government, specifically the EPA, and that he personally gained more than $7 million from the scheme,” said Dan Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada. “These types of schemes are complex and require an enormous expenditure of resources to investigate and prosecute. Because of the tremendous work of the investigators and prosecutors on this case, we were also able to seize and forfeit from the defendant millions of dollars from bank accounts, as well as real property in Nevada and California, jewelry and other assets.”

And this is related to timeshare how, you ask? Peripherally, is the response. In November 2012 eight people were arrested in a four-count indictment alleging conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering related to timeshare resale fraud. Those people were James Assi Jariv (Stoliar’s partner in crime), his son Alexander Jariv, Thresa Lloyd, Varda Jariv, Jiwon Jariv, Ronald Frank Muise, and Michael Derek Muise, all of Las Vegas, NV along with Leon Avedikian of Los Angeles, CA.

The arrests and indictments were originally made in Las Vegas, but the case was subsequently transferred to Houston, TX to be adjudicated there.

They were accused of running a number of different named companies to conduct their telemarketing timeshare resale scheme targeting timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada. The Jariv companies were registered in various states, including Texas, Nevada, California, Illinois and Washington and conducted business at multiple addresses in Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, according to court records. They allegedly scammed approximately 1000 victims and deposited into eight bank accounts approximately $6,925,137.04 in fraudulently obtained timeshare owner funds.

Names of the companies they ran include, but are almost certainly not limited to: Timeshare Investors of America, National Funding Center (aka American Way Funding), International Resort Exchange, Global Financial Group, Global Equity Group and Corporate Resort Specialists. They were infamous in Las Vegas for their telemarketing tactics, including not paying their telemarketers. No one who wasn’t desperate or a crook would work for them.

Since that time all but three of the defendants have reached a plea deal with the prosecution, pleading guilty to various counts of crime in return for their assistance in prosecuting the remaining three.

James Jariv is currently being held in Nevada pending results in the biofuels case (there are current motions pending), while the case against him and the other two defendants (Varda Jariv and Jiwon Jariv) in Houston also awaits. In the Texas case, the trial for James Assi Jariv, Varda Jariv and Jiwon Jariv is currently scheduled for October 7 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

However things go at either venue, I’m thinking it’s likely that Jariv’s days of defrauding consumers and living big on dirty money are probably over. It can’t be too soon for those who’ve been deceived by his gang over the years.




“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 >> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: Since I last visited the case, a few things have been happening on the Jariv timeshare resale telemarketing fraud trial front. AND in the Las Vegas, NV bio-fuels fraud case involving James Jariv that is simultaneously working its way through Nevada’s court system.

In the resale fraud case being heard in Houston, the trial date for James Assi Jariv, Varda Jariv and Jiwon Jariv has been set back AGAIN. The Pretrial Conference was reset for 9/29/2014 at 02:30 PM and the Jury Trial was reset for 10/7/2014 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

Things got a little complicated with two separate cases involving one defendant moving along on separate fronts. You see, James Jariv, who had been temporarily released from custody in Houston to take care of some business, was re-arrested and held in Nevada pending his trial there so Houston didn’t bother to ask for his return to jail in Texas although they did maintain an outstanding warrant for him.

But Jariv asked for the bond amount in Nevada to be reduced, and it was so ordered — with the cash amount required reduced to $100,000. That amount was produced on his behalf by Varda Jariv and another party, and he was just about to be released on bail under the imposition of several restrictive conditions when it was discovered that, guess what? A sealed warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Southern District of Texas in connection with that resale fraud case pending against him in Houston.

Jariv moved to vacate the warrant in the Texas action, but the court in Houston denied his request and subsequently refused to reconsider its decision on the matter.

As mentioned above, the Texas action is currently set for trial on October 7, 2014, which is less than two weeks before the Nevada case is set to begin trial on October 20, 2014. As a result, despite the Nevada Court ordering Jariv’s release, he remains effectively detained pending trial in this case as well. He is waiting things out in custody at the Nevada Southern Detention Center in Pahrump.

That being the case, his attorneys have asked that the $100,000 cash deposit tendered on his behalf in connection
with the appearance bond be returned, and it has been so ordered.

Meanwhile, attorneys in the Nevada bio-fuels fraud case are hard at exchanging discovery and other pre-trial stuff.

In that case he was arrested on January 14, 2014 in Las Vegas on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to launder money, false statements, and obstruction of justice related to an alleged bio-fuels scam. The government has seized approximately $3.75 million in connection with that case, and it doesn’t look like they’re planning on giving any of it back any time soon.

Is anyone making book on whether either of those trial dates will be “adjusted” at least one more time?

Stay tuned. :)


Email the Gatekeeper (or leave a comment below).



"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