TALLAHASSEE, FL — Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam has announced that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services arrested three Central Florida residents for separate cases of timeshare resale and travel scams that defrauded victims out of more than $45,000. All three cases began with consumer complaints to the department’s 1-800-HELP-FLA helpline.
“These cases are just the latest examples of crooks scamming Floridians and visitors out of their hard-earned money,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “We will do everything we can to protect consumers from these scams, Floridians can help protect themselves by visiting FreshFromFlorida.com and learning about common scams.”
Joseph J. Paprocki of Daytona Beach, born Oct. 19, 1967, allegedly operated International Resales Unlimited LLC and engaged in a scheme to defraud timeshare vacation property owners by brokering fraudulent real estate transactions. Five victims paid $8,000 in closing costs and legal fees as directed by the business, but their timeshares were never sold. Paprocki was booked into the Volusia County Jail on charges of organized scheme to defraud.
Adina Monegain of Orlando, born Jan. 6, 1991, allegedly operated Revenue Property Services LLC and was engaged in a scheme to defraud timeshare vacation property owners by brokering fraudulent real estate transactions. Six victims paid $17,451.37 in closing costs and legal fees as directed by the business, but their timeshares were never sold. Monegain was booked into the Osceola County Jail on multiple charges, including: grand theft, organized scheme to defraud, unlicensed real estate activity, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and commercial telephone solicitation license.
Kathleen Carson of Orlando, born June 28, 1978, allegedly operated Elite Cruise Options and defrauded victims who placed orders for cruise vacations they never received. In addition, victims reported their credit cards were charged for cruises they never authorized. A total of $21,643 was lost. Carson was booking into the Orange County Jail on charges of organized scheme to defraud.
The following tips can help protect consumers from common scams:
- Before any purchase is made, research whether the telemarketer or telemarketing salesperson is registered with FDACS and if any complaints have been filed against them. This can be done by visiting FreshFromFlorida.com’s Business/Complaint Lookup or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).
- Do not give out bank account, credit card or personal information (date of birth, mother’s maiden name, Social Security number, etc.) over the telephone, unless it is to a known and trusted source.
- Request written information by mail about the organization itself, as well as the product, service, investment or charity.
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services