>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:
KISSIMMEE: Vacation Village at Parkway has finished up a major renovation at the resort. They’ve been at it since 2013 and accomplished quite a lot, especially considering that this is a pretty big property.
Last year’s efforts included:
- Replaced the hallway carpet, mattresses, and refurbished furniture in buildings 14 & 15.
- Additional Kid’s Playground.
- Flat screen TVs throughout remaining areas.
- Mattresses replacement in buildings 18 & 19.
- Cabinet upgrade in buildings 3 & 4.
- Replaced bedding in buildings 7 through 9.
- New dining table bases, coffee tables and end tables in building 1 & 2 “B” units.
- Replace golf cart.
Refurbishments and upgrades this year included some pretty impressive improvements to the “B” side, featuring sleek yellow and grey accents, new beds and kitchen fixtures and they replaced in-room Jacuzzis with “large, relaxing tubs and sitting vanity rooms”. The cabinets in the kitchen are dark, the appliances stainless steel, the countertops granite — it’s all thoroughly modern.
Here’s a picture.
What do you think?
ORLANDO: Back in February the State of Florida indicted Mark Gardner (28, Osteen, Florida) and Tammie Lynn Cline (32, Leominster, MA) with one count of conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering in a case revolving around a timeshare resale scam. If convicted, each faced a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each conspiracy and wire fraud count and up to 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering count. That’s a long time.
This month Cline pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud; she is set to be sentenced on Oct. 9. Her maximum sentence would thusly be 20 years.
Gardner is apparently taking his chances with a jury, with a trial date tentatively set for September 1, 2015.
According to the indictment, Gardner and Cline operated a telemarketing room in Central Florida. They, along with the telemarketers who worked at their call center, made unsolicited calls to owners of timeshare properties located throughout the United States. In those calls, they claimed that they worked for Universal Timeshare Sales Associates (UTSA) out of Beaverton, Oregon, that UTSA had a purchaser who was interested in buying a timeshare, and that the timeshare owner just needed to pay a fee of between $1,600 and $2,200 for the sale to proceed.
To convince timeshare owners to pay the fee, Gardner, Cline, and their telemarketers sometimes claimed that an interested purchaser was present in the showroom ready to buy a timeshare, that a buyer had already deposited money into an escrow account for the sale, or that the sale would take place in about 90 days. Those representations were false. The timeshares were not sold as had been promised, and Gardner, Cline, and their conspirators denied or ignored requests for refunds and disputed chargebacks with the credit card companies.
You’ve all heard this story before, right? Doesn’t matter what the name(s) of the companies are, doesn’t matter what the names of the people are, doesn’t matter what state, province or country is involved — the basics of the scam are always the same and people keep falling for it.
In May 2013, the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General’s Office filed a civil action against Gardner, Cline, and others in federal court. In June 2014, the district court entered a permanent injunction against them related to certain telemarketing practices.
Stay tuned for more information about the trial and sentencing as it is made available.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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