(January 30, 2014) -by InsideTheGate.com
Pasquale “Posh” Pappalardo, 60, of Coral Springs, FL, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for his role in the Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group timeshare resale telemarketing fraud case.
He was convicted in November 2013 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
A co-founder of the business along with Joseph “Joey Cigars” Crapella, Pappalardo also received three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,061,401 and forfeiture of $3,500,000.
Crapella, who was originally arrested along with Pappalardo, cooperated with authorities in a plea deal for a lighter sentence. He was sentenced last year to four years and three months in prison and ordered to pay almost $950,000 in restitution for his part in the fraud.
Co-defendant Audwin Lovinsky, 35, of Tamarac, FL, was also sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $34,635. Lovinsky was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
In all, 41 defendants were charged for their involvement with a timeshare resale telemarketing room called Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group, Inc., (TMMMG). The other defendants were charged in Case Nos. 11-60190-Cr-Cohn, 11-60247-Cr-Marra, 11-60268-Cr-Hurley, 12-60019-Cr-Scola, 13-60049-Cr-Dimitrouleas, 12-60149-Cr-Scola, 13-60154-Cr-Scola, and 13-60155-Cr-Dimitrouleas. Aside from the two defendants who were sentenced yesterday, thirty-seven defendants previously pled guilty, one is awaiting trial, and one is deceased.
According to the evidence presented at trial, in February 2009, Pasquale Pappalardo, also known to the witnesses as “Patsy U’ Patso” and “Posh,” and Joseph Crapella, also known to witnesses as “Joey Cigars,” started a branch office of Time Share Market Pro (TMP), a timeshare resale business. The testimony at trial was that they knew each other from a previous stint in federal prison. In June 2009, at the direction of Pappalardo and Crapella, their associates took customer files and the electronic database of TMP, among other items, without the knowledge of the owner of TMP.
Pappalardo and Crapella then took the employees and the documents seized from TMP and formed a second timeshare resale company called TMMMG. In November 2009 and January 2010, TMMMG hired salesmen who worked for other fraudulent telemarketing resale companies, including defendant Lovinsky, who used the phone name of Edwin Lovins. Among the lies they would tell timeshare unit owners, was that they had sold their timeshare unit and that they needed to pay a refundable fee to secure the sale. The salesmen would then ask the timeshare unit owners for a fee of at least $1,996, and as much as $10,000. At no time were there any buyers for the timeshare units. The testimony at trial was that both Pappalardo and Crapella were told about the lies being told by the salesman, but Pappalardo and Crapella would not do anything to stop the salespeople from lying.
During the 10 months that TMMMG was in business, it fraudulently obtained approximately $5 million from about 3,000 customers. Pappalardo received at least $300,000 in checks and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from the money sent by victims of TMMMG.
In April 2012, in a separate case against Pappalardo, the Federal Trade Commission agreed to a settlement with him and and his wife, Lisa Tumminia-Pappalardo, that permanently ban them from telemarketing and engaging in timeshare resale services. The settlement also permanently prohibits them from misrepresenting any product or service, selling or using customers’ personal information, failing to properly dispose of customer information within 30 days of the orders, and attempting to collect payments from past customers.