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

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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. :)


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

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

LAS VEGAS & HOUSTON: There is news about the Jariv gang on two fronts this week.

In Las Vegas James Assi Jariv, the patriarch of the gang, has been in jail on charges relating to biodiesel fraud. The 57-count indictment against him and Nathan Stoliar, 64, of Australia, includes allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. This enterprise allegedly netted some $57 million.

Meanwhile, he is also awaiting trial in Houston (along with other members of his family) on charges of conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering related to timeshare resale fraud.

Well, he had been released from jail in Houston to take care of some business at the time he was arrested in Las Vegas. During that period he apparently violated the terms of his pretrial release and the Texas court issued a warrant for his arrest and for his return to Houston’s jurisdiction. His attorney contested that warrant and the proceedings in Nevada were held over until a determination on the warrant issue was decided. On March 14 the Las Vegas court issued a temporary detention order and Jariv was remanded to custody to wait it out.

The Southern District of Texas denied the request to quash the warrant. As such, Jariv’s attorney decided not to contest his client’s detention and on March 18 Jariv was ordered detained. BUT the attorney asked that Jariv not be immediately transferred back to Texas as he might try to transfer the Texas case to Nevada.

In the end, on March 20, the attorney decided against transferring the case but requested (and the prosecution concurred) that Jariv remain in custody in Nevada instead of being sent back to the Southern District of Texas. So Jariv was transferred to the custody of the US Marshals and will stay in local federal custody “unless and until his presence is required in the Southern District of Texas for additional proceedings.”

So James is sitting in the pokey in Las Vegas until further notice. Do you suppose the facilities there are more luxurious than those in Houston?

The big news out of Houston involves James’ son Alexander Jariv, who has entered into a plea agreement with the Feds there. He has pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment, which charges him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing.

The maximum sentence for this charge is 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000. But since this involves telemarketing he could face an additional 10 years under the SCAM Act, so he could be facing a maximum of 30 years, a fine of $250,000 or both the fine and the imprisonment. Plus possible supervised release of up to 5 years after serving his term. Additionally, he can’t have the imposition or execution of his sentence suspended nor will he be eligible for parole.

In return for hopes of a lighter sentence Alexander has agreed to waive his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, to testify truthfully in court and depositions, etc., provide any and all relevant documents, etc., to assist in the collection of restitution and fines and essentially to cooperate fully in every way with the prosecution of the remaining defendants — among them his father (James Jariv), his mother (Varda Jariv) and his step-mother (Jiwon Jariv). Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

There’s no doubt about the fact that the Jariv gang was (and remains) a dirty bunch. And on top of their crimes against their victims, their telemarketing rooms (at least in Las Vegas) were notorious for their foul atmosphere. According to many sources involved, they were able to retain only the most financially desperate employees, whom they regularly abused with threats of firing, withholding earned commissions, harassment of various types and general working conditions that would have had the Fair Labor Laws people tearing their hair out if they had known.

Stay tuned for more news, though it may be a while in coming. The trial date for the timeshare fraud case in Houston is currently not scheduled until August 26, 2014.


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

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

HOUSTON: A few things have been happening this month on the Jariv timeshare resale telemarketing fraud trial front.

Taking first things first, both Leon Avidikian (aka Brian Fantana, Leon Aved, Ray Lundine and Leon Abbott) and Thresa Lloyd have agreed to plead guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud in connection with telemarketing fraud. In return for their compliance in assisting the Court in the prosecution of the remaining defendants, the Government will drop the remaining charges against the two and recommend a lighter sentence.

The maximum sentence faced by Lloyd and Avidikian on the one count is 30 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both. Sentencing for them as well as Ronald Frank Muise and Michael Derek Muise, who pled guilty last December, has been scheduled for October 20, 2014.

It should also be noted that the Government has said they are currently negotiating a plea deal with Alexander Jariv as well, though nothing has been settled on that as of this date.

Here’s the HOT stuff: Nearly simultaneously the attorneys for James Jariv, Varda Jariv and Jiwon Jariv have asked for a dismissal of the case against them AND a continuance to a later date for the trial.

In the motion for dismissal, defendants have asked the Court to dismiss Counts One and Two of the Indictment against them because they did not agree to defraud people or launder money through the timeshare business underlying these charges, but in fact took affirmative steps to both stop the telemarketers from making misrepresentations and to ensure that the customers were abundantly aware of the nature of the services. They maintain that they hardly had anything to do with that business, being too busy administering their other businesses to pay much attention to what the telemarketers were doing, that they could not possibly have conspired to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, or money laundering as alleged in the indictment, and that Counts One and Two against them should be dismissed as a matter of law. Noticeably absent in that motion is Alexander Jariv.

The second motion is kinda fascinating. In that one the attorneys argued that additional time is needed to prepare the case in light of the recent indictment of James Jariv on separate charges in another district, the continuing dispute over his pretrial release, the pendency of the motion to dismiss, and the ongoing status of plea negotiations with certain co-Defendants (two of whom subsequently reached plea deals, as you already know). As such, the four remaining defendants requested that the Court extend the trial date and corresponding deadlines.

Regarding James’ recent new indictment attorneys, counsel alluded to his arrest on January 14, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV 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.

The motion argues that the Las Vegas indictment, asset seizure, and arrest less than two months before the scheduled trial date in the Texas case have created a substantial disruption for his counsel, an obstacle to his trial preparation, and complicating factor for any plea negotiations and potential restitution to be offered there.

James Jariv is also engaged in a battle on two fronts over his freedom while he awaits trial. He was ordered detained as a flight risk by Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr. in the Las Vegas action immediately after his arrest, and has been detained ever since. Mr. Jariv filed a motion to reconsider that detention order, which is currently pending before the court in Las Vegas. And in Texas the government has asked the Court to revoke its order granting Jariv conditions of release pending trial, which Jariv opposes.

Well, the request for a continuance was granted, and the trial has now been reset to August 26, 2014.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story. :)


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

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

LAS VEGAS: Well don’t that just beat all! Not only is the notorious Jariv gang awaiting trial in Houston, TX on charges of conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering trial related to their timeshare resale fraud, now the gang’s patriarch, James Assi Jariv, has been arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas for yet another fraud, offenses that allegedly netted more than $37 million. The 57-count indictment against James Jariv and Nathan Stoliar, 64, of Australia, includes allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

The details are a little complicated, but in a nutshell they are accused of generating $7 million worth of fake renewable fuel credits for biodiesel that was never produced at their company in Vancouver, British Columbia (City Farm Biofuel) and of passing subpar biodiesel off as 100% biodiesel and then keeping $30 million worth of renewable fuel credits for themselves. You can get the details here.

Noticeably absent in the initial indictment is Jariv’s son Alexander Jariv, who was indicted on the resale fraud and is awaiting trial on those charges, and that has raised questions from a lot of people due to his alleged connections with the biodiesel operation. Besides being listed as the director, president, secretary and treasurer of RIN’S America Corporation, sources close to the Jariv’s various operations insist that Alexander was intimately involved in every aspect of the family’s businesses.

Claims one source:

Alex Jariv was always at his fathers side, leading the way with all of their fraudulent companies – Alex spent months in Canada learning everything there is to know about the Bio Diesel business – Alex is the one who bought the illegal trucks and barrels for hauling the fake liquid – he was the one who hired the drivers to drive the fake stuff from Los Angeles to Washington – they bought old moving trucks and used old barrels – painted them up and then filled them with the fake bio diesel and paid drivers $20 an hour to move the barrels from one state to another without having to go through any weigh stations or have the proper licensing for the drivers – nothing special needed for driving a uhaul painted white.

Time will tell if those allegations have legs.

Also missing in this indictment is Thresa Lloyd, who is listed as an officer in several companies owned by James Jariv and is also one of the defendants in the resale fraud case. Several people describe her as being the “office” person who set everything up for the operation, saying she did all the paperwork, the interviews and processed their paychecks for the drivers. (There are also rumors that the Jariv’s hid a lot of their income under her name in exchange for them buying her a condo, a new car, a house in Hawaii and a hefty weekly salary.)

It remains to be seen if anyone else will be indicted in Las Vegas on these new charges, but the allegations about the possible involvement of Alexander Jariv and Thresa Lloyd (and others?) in the bio diesel fraud certainly raise questions.

By the way, is it true that Alexander is operating a real estate company in Las Vegas while he awaits his fate? Someone with that name certainly is; is there more than one person by that name in Vegas?

And for an unrelated but very interesting story involving a younger Alex, check out this story from Court TV about the 2004 retrial in the Ted Binion murder case. Get out the popcorn.


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“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: In a November update on the conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering trial related to the Jariv gang’s timeshare resale fraud I mentioned that two of the defendants — Ronald Frank Muise and his son Michael Derek Muise — were believed to be working on a plea deal with prosecutors. That turned out to be correct.

On Dec. 16 the Muises each pleaded guilty to, and were convicted of, one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a telemarketing fraud scheme.

Sentencing is set for March 17, but if the Judge accepts the terms of the plea agreement recommended by prosecutors the sentences would be as follows:

Each will be placed on probation for a maximum of 5 years, will pay restitution of $5,945,433.04 in payments of $200 per month beginning Jan. 16, 2014 and continuing until they are no longer on bond. If they violate the terms they may be imprisoned for up to 2 years.

The deal is predicated on certain conditions, such as the pair’s full cooperation in all matters pertaining to any criminal activity know to them, including but not limited to loan, bank, mail and/or wire fraud, and money laundering, including both state and federal offenses arising therefrom and agreeing to testify truthfully as witnesses when called upon to do so and to waive their Fifth Amendment privilege.

It is also stipulated that the agreement is binding on the Southern District of Texas only, leaving him open to prosecution in Nevada or other districts if they so choose.

Still awaiting trial (currently set for March 4, 2014) are:

  • James Assi Jariv
  • Alexander Jariv
  • Leon Avedikian
  • Thresa Lloyd
  • Varda Jariv
  • Jiwon Jariv

To refresh your memory, they are 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.

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

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

HOUSTON: This is just an update on the November 2012 conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering trial related to the Jariv gang’s timeshare resale fraud.

You may remember that James Assi Jariv, 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. were arrested last year in Las Vegas, NV but the case was transferred to Houston, TX for trial because it’s Texas that brought the charges against them and is prosecuting the case.

Originally set for jury trial on February 5, 2013, it was continued to May 29, 2013 then continued again (it’s a complicated case) to December 3, 2013.

Well, in October it was continued again. Pretrial conference was reset to March 3, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.; Proposed voir dire and jury instructions to be filed by March 4, 2014. Jury selection and trial are reset to March 11, 2014 for six of the eight defendants:

  • James Assi Jariv
  • Alexander Jariv
  • Leon Avedikian
  • Thresa Lloyd
  • Varda Jariv
  • Jiwon Jariv

Ronald Frank Muise and Michael Derek Muise were noted in court documents as working toward some sort of plea deal and there is no further info on that at this time, however their names were not included on the continuance list.

To refresh your memory, they are 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.

Stay tuned.


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>> WESTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HOUSTON: 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.

No, this case has nothing to do with the VO Group scam, haha. This was James Assi Jariv, 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.

They are 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. (That’s a pretty definite number for an approximation, don’t you think?)

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.

The group was originally taken into custody in Las Vegas, where a state prosecutor tried to have them held without bail as being flight risks, especially James and Alexander. James had both a USA and Israeli passport, and strong ties to Israel; Alexander is a pilot and had access to airplanes; nearly $600,000 had been transferred to a bank in Israel for their personal use; all of them were frequent travelers, AND as James was being surveilled, the team stopped him as he was was backing out of his garage with $6,000 in his pocket. Although there was no luggage in the car and he said he was going to get blood pressure medication, he did admit to agents that his co-defendant Ron Muise had called him after agents had come to Muise’s residence to tell Jariv what was happening. Oh, and his wife had $15,000 in her purse.

But the judge granted bail to everyone. James was released on a personal recognizance bond under pretrial services supervision, with the conditions that: He maintain his current residence and not move without prior approval from pretrial services; that he surrender his passports and not obtain a new passport or travel documents while the case is pending; that he restrict his travel to Clark County, NV, and the Southern District of Texas for court purposes only; that he have no contact with victims or witnesses in the case; and that he not solicit moneys from any investors in any type of telemarketing activity.

The case was transferred from Las Vegas to U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) because it’s Texas that brought the charges against them and is prosecuting the case. Originally set for jury trial on February 5, 2013, it was continued to May 29, 2013 then continued again (it’s a complicated case). Currently the pretrial conference has been reset for November 25, 2013. Proposed voir dire and jury instructions are due by November 26. Jury selection and trial are set for December 3, 2013 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 11C before Judge Lynn N. Hughes.

So just in time for Christmas we’ll have another trial to watch. Assuming the trial starts on schedule this time, it will probably take several weeks to get through it so, as usual, get out the popcorn!


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"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

CALIFORNIA:

ESCONDIDO: In union there is strength? Escondido-based Chicago Title Timeshare and Maitland, FL-based Fidelity National Title Group seem to think so, having joined forces to form a new alliance called Fidelity National Timeshare (FNT).

In their published statement they said, “The two entities have joined forces to strengthen their service and respond better to the needs of an ever-changing timeshare industry. The new relationship enhances the company’s ability to serve the industry through its existing East and West Coast office and is dedicated solely to working within the timeshare and shared ownership arena.”

The new group will maintain offices in both California and Florida; its website is located at www.FidelityTimeshare.com.

ALSO IN ESCONDIDO: A California federal judge has dismissed a putative class action lawsuit brought against Welk Group, Inc. by plaintiff Hermenegildo Martinez that claimed Welk Resort San Diego allowed mold to grow in its rooms.

In a nutshell: Judge Anthony Battaglia determined Martinez couldn’t sufficiently demonstrate that his “Platinum Points” lost value as a result, largely siding with the resort’s arguments that Martinez failed to produce any witnesses, any documents or any evidence to support that the purported mold problem diminished the value.

Next?


SACRAMENTO: Heads up if you’re an employer in California whose services involve paying commissions! Effective January 1, 2013, California’s new Labor Code section 2751 requires you to provide written commission plan agreements to all your commissioned employees. That means you if you’re selling timeshare.

Under the new law the agreement has to explain the method by which the commissions will be computed and paid, must be signed by the employer and the employer must obtain a signed receipt from each employee.

The definition of commissions from California Labor Code section 204.1 defines commission wages as “compensation paid to any person for services rendered in the sale of such employer’s property or services and based proportionately upon the amount or value thereof.” Types of payments that are specifically excluded from this definition include:

  • Short-term productivity bonuses such as are paid to retail clerks;
  • Temporary, variable incentive payments that increase, but do not decrease, payments under the written commission contract; and
  • Bonus and profit-sharing plans, unless there has been an offer by the employer to pay a fixed percentage of sales or profits as compensation for work to be performed.

But I suppose your attorneys are already all over this, right?

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TEXAS:

HOUSTON: United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, with the Southern District of Texas, has announced the arrest of eight people in a four-count indictment alleging conspiracy, wire and mail fraud and money laundering related to timeshare resale fraud.

James Assi Jariv, 62, Alexander Jariv, the 25-year-old son of James Jariv, Thresa Lloyd, 42, Varda Jariv, 72, Jiwon Jariv, 33, Ronald Frank Muise, 50, and Michael Derek Muise, 27, all of Las Vegas, NV were taken into custody along with Leon Avedikian, 43, of Los Angeles, CA.

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.

According to the indictment, the Jarivs and other co-conspirators used a number of different named companies to conduct their telemarketing timeshare resale scheme targeting timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada. The timeshare owners were allegedly solicited to pay advance fees in exchange for the Jariv companies providing willing buyers for their timeshare properties or points, when in fact, the defendants did not have buyers for the timeshare owners’ interests and did not market or sell the property.

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.

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.

Long may they serve…

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UTAH:

PARK CITY: A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Hilton Grand Vacations’ new resort in the Canyons Resort, noting that it was expected to open later this month. The “later” turned out to be November 21, just in time for Thanksgiving; reservations began to be accepted earlier this month.

Called Sunrise Lodge, HGV was selected by developer Resort Finance America to manage the 83-unit property and to provide timeshare sales and marketing services. This will be HGV’s first branded property in Utah.

Sunrise Lodge features native mountain stonework and timber frame design. The property offers studios, 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom suites complete with living areas and well-appointed kitchens; outdoor heated pool and whirlpool spas, fitness facilities, and amenities that include onsite ski equipment rental, complimentary high-speed internet, and complimentary year-round shuttle service within Park City.

Hilton Grand Vacations Club is growing in leaps and bounds this year. Maybe they didn’t get the memo about timeshare being dead? ;)

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“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