Timeshare Resale Scheme Stopped by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Operators Charged
Defendants charged with taking at least $15 million from property owners
The operators of a timeshare resale scheme have been charged with conning timeshare property owners out of at least $15 million by making them pay large up-front fees based on false promises of selling or renting their properties.
A federal court has temporarily stopped the operation and frozen the defendants' assets while lawsuits are pending. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hopes to permanently halt the allegedly-illegal practices and return consumers' money.
The agency claims that the defendants carry out telemarketing to the owners of timeshare properties and make false claims about having a buyer or renter who is ready and willing to buy or rent their properties for a specified price. Alternately, the FTC alleges, the defendants promise to sell the timeshares fast, sometimes within a specified period of time.
The operators of the scheme charge property owners as much as $2,500 or even more in advance, claims the FTC, but do not deliver on their promises. In its complaint, the agency noted that the defendants string some property owners along with even more false claims—for example, the promise that they will send them money soon from a sale or rental—and frequently convince them to pay extra for alleged closing costs or other fees. According to the complaint, consumers' requests for refunds are generally either denied or ignored.
The defendants include the following: Jess Kinmont, John P. Wenz, Jr., Pro Timeshare Resales of Flagler Beach LLC, Pro Timeshare Resales LLC, and J. William Enterprises LLC, doing business as Pro Timeshare Resales.
They have been charged with violating both the FTC Act and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule, including calling numbers registered on the National Do Not Call Registry.