|April 8, 2014
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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ORLANDO, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey and Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency Chief Investigator Kevin Jackson today announced that thanks to collaboration among their offices, six individuals have been charged on one count each of organized fraud for operating a telemarketing scam. Investigators believe timeshare owners across the country received unsolicited telephone calls from telemarketers representing Clement Park, Inc., Clyde Trails Financials, or Eastgate Solutions, LLC. The companies had "virtual" offices in Tampa, Fla. and representatives would claim to have a buyer interested in purchasing an owner's timeshare unit. According to the investigation, no timeshares were actually sold through this scheme, and more than 350 victims have been identified with losses totaling more than $753,000.
“When I first took office and worked with the Legislature on the Timeshare Resale Accountability Act, I did so to protect Florida’s timeshare owners from scammers seeking to make a dollar with false promises,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We will not allow unscrupulous individuals to defraud timeshare owners by misrepresenting themselves and promising to sell their timeshare units as part of an elaborate scheme. My Office of Statewide Prosecution will continue to partner will law enforcement to pursue cases of timeshare resale fraud.”
“This scam has hit 350 victims across the country for three quarters of a million hard-earned dollars,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “We will continue working with Attorney General Bondi and the Office of Statewide Prosecution to ensure that each individual involved with the fraud is apprehended.”
“Simply because this band of telemarketing timeshare thieves from the Orlando area utilized phony addresses, names, virtual offices, and bank accounts in Hillsborough County attempting to hide their trail, doesn’t mean we won’t spend the necessary time to unravel their scheme and make them pay for their crimes,” said Kevin Jackson, Chief Investigator for Hillsborough County Consumer Protection.
Allegedly, the telemarketer and the timeshare owner would negotiate a purchase price and the telemarketer would direct the timeshare owner to sign a sales contract and pay a seller's closing cost fee. According to the investigation, the majority of the timeshare owners never heard from the business again after the timeshare owner mailed the contract and closing costs.
The following individuals who were charged as part of this scheme are:
Altamonte Springs, FL
Saint Cloud, FL
This case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi's Office of Statewide Prosecution.