Wesley Aldred from Kissimmee, Florida was sentenced to a day in prison in 2015 for a timeshare telemarketing scam. He has now been sentenced to a new term of 21 months for running a similar scam while on supervised release. Aldred was one of a group of telemarketers accused of participating in a timeshare resale fraud scam which targeted timeshare owners all over the United States. They would contact timeshare owners and falsely claim to have found a buyer for their timeshare, if they could pay a small fee upfront then the company would facilitate the sale. Victims paid thousands of dollars for these services which never materialised. The company dodged customer complaints and fobbed people off, whilst pocketing any profits.
Aldred plead guilty for his part in this scheme, of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He was fined $750 in 2015 and placed on supervised release for two years. During his supervised release, he was caught yet again engaging in a nearly identical timeshare telemarketing scheme. The judge residing over the case revoked Aldred’s supervised release and ordered him to serve 21 months in federal prison, to be followed by an additional 39 months of supervised release. The sentence imposed by the court was the maximum term recommended by the US sentencing guidelines.
What is Wire and Mail Fraud ?
Mail and wire fraud is any fraudulent plot to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication. This is considered a serious criminal offense in the US. Mail fraud charges are when an individual puts into place any form of scheme to defraud in order to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretences. This occurs when the individual attempts to distribute, supply or unlawfully use any counterfeit in their scheme and in attempting to do so, places the same in any post office or authorized depository for the mail to deliver. This type of offence carries a fine or the possibility of imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both. Wire fraud charges occur when an individual carries out financial fraud using telecommunications or information technology to do so. The sentence for this type of offence is the same as mail fraud with a fine, or the possibility of imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible timeshare termination.