The Wolf of Timeshare
A tale of caution for timeshare owners
Victims of a nationwide timeshare scam will finally get justice after many years of investigation and prosecution by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspector and U.S. Attorney’s Office. A federal judge has just completed sentencing on the second major bad actor in the timeshare crime of a decade. Daniel Boyar, aka “Wolf” and Paul Marciniak will serve 5 or more years in prison after pleading guilty to mail and wire fraud. Each will also have several years of close supervised release and are ordered pay back some 3.3 million dollars in restitution to over 1,000 timeshare owners who were defrauded by the pair and 20 other co-conspirators.
Timeshare Owners Be Aware Of How They Did It!
Boyar and Marciniak operated their criminal enterprise between 2010 and 2012.
- They carefully created an elaborate scheme to take advantage of unsuspecting targets by masking their identities and locations. Using fictitious names and bogus phone numbers with call spoofing technology, the wolf and his pack went to great lengths to set the trap of deception with the appearance what looked like a legitimate company.
- Boyar temporarily leased space in office buildings in various states and even made websites posting company information that was false and misleading to consumers.
- The websites often had pictures of company directors, press releases and testimonials. Each was fabricated to create a deceptive online presence.
- Employees would allegedly use emails, wire transfers to bank accounts and mapping software. Some would even talk about the weather with customers to maintain the illusory appearance of the operation.
- Timeshare owner data was acquired, most of it stolen and then used to easily prey on elderly owners, as they were targeted with a telemarketing program described by law enforcement, as the “Buyer’s Pitch.” This was fully described in the case, as a common advance-fee scam, where owners were told over the phone that the company had a buyer waiting to purchase the owner/seller’s timeshare, usually for a significant amount.
Here is the Red Flag!
Required: Some or most of the fees for closing costs were to be paid upfront.
Timeshare Owners Became Victims
Conclusion: No timeshares were ever sold. Many individuals were ultimately victims of resort data theft as well as resale fraud. A record search at the FTC, reflects a complaint that one or more of Boyar’s companies and/or associates were put on the radar in a major resale dragnet that included dozens of other suspect timeshare operators in 2013. The Predator had become the Prey. Shortly after, each of the members of Boyar’s pack were apprehended, charged, serving time, awaiting additional sentencing and will pay the price of justice for their participation in the resale scheme.
The various company names in the timeshare resale scheme were:
Professional Concepts LLC
Redline Funding LLC
Great West Funding Incorporated
Equity Financial Services LLC
First Capital Financial Services Corporation
The Finn Law Group’s Consumer Watch Team is using the above action to illustrate how dedicated this criminal ring and others are at targeting unsuspecting and venerable senior timeshare owners. Here are some tips to protect yourself, as the timeshare owner, from timeshare resale and exit fraud.
Timeshare Owner Red Flags
- Solicitation – You get a call from a company (not the timeshare resort) that claims to have a buyer waiting to purchase your exact interval. You have never had contact with this company prior, however, the telemarketer appears to have a lot of information in their file about your ownership records. *Your information may have been stolen.
- High Pressure Sales Pitch – “Buyer’s Pitch” – The company has a buyer ready to purchase the timeshare. The only thing needed is your upfront monies to be paid in advance for transfer, closing costs or some other type of fee for service.
- High Risk Forms of Payment Requested – The company is requesting that you use a certain form of payment that has little to no protection and is sometimes impossible to trace and recover.
X-Money Wire Transfer
- Contact the Better Business Bureau in the region the company is located.
- Request that the BBB review your contract before any monies are paid.
- Consider using an escrow account set up by a local attorney to protect funds.
More Articles of Interest for Timeshare Owners:
You decide, is it fair for Timeshare Associations to Double Maintenance Fees?