National Solutions LLC, the FTC said, charged consumers thousands of dollars for lining up fictitious buyers they claimed were eager to purchase their timeshares in deals they claimed would be reviewed and approved by the FTC.
As part of its ongoing crackdown on swindlers who prey upon financially strapped consumers, the FTC wants to to put the defendants out of business permanently and force them to refund their victims.According to court papers filed by the FTC, the Orlando, Fla.-based defendants, who operated out of mail boxes in Orlando, Las Vegas, Boston and elsewhere, contacted consumers trying to sell their timeshare properties and informed them that they'd lined up buyers.
But in order for the sale to go through, the defendants charged consumers upwards of $3,150 -- either as an "earnest money deposit" to commit them to the sale or for sale-related expenses – all of which, consumers were promised, would be refunded at closing.
Victims were instructed to pay by cashier's check or money order and to send the money via overnight express mail; they were also instructed to immediately sign and return a "sales agreement" or "seller's document" that had been mailed to them. Telemarketers working for the defendants also hoodwinked consumers by assuring many of them that the sale would be reviewed and approved by the FTC.
Angry consumers who called the defendants to complain were "given the run-around," and demands for refunds were routinely denied or simply ignored or denied. Furthermore, the FTC never reviews or approves timeshare sales.
The FTC accused the defendants of violating the FTC Act and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule by misrepresenting that:
- They had buyers willing to pay a specific price for consumers' timeshare properties.
- They would refund the consumers' fee when the property was sold.
- The FTC would review and approve proposed sales.
The court froze the defendants' assets and appointed a receiver to take control of the businesses.
The defendants in this crackdown are National Solutions LLC, also doing business as Blue Scape Timeshares International, Country Wide Timeshares, Countrywide Timesharesales MA, Landmark Timeshares, Propertys Direct, Quicksale Propertys, Sun Property Networks, Sun Property's, Universal Propertys and VIM Timeshares; Landmark Marketing LLC, also doing business as Blue Scape Timeshares, Country Wide Timeshares International, Propertys DRK, Quick Sale Advisers, Quick Sale International and Universal Propertys International; Red Solutions LLC, also doing business as City Resorts and Resort Advisors; Enterprise America LLC, also doing business as American Timeshares, Exit Week and Resort Advisors International; Investments Group of Florida LLC, also doing business as Resort Advisors AM; Multiglobe LLC, also doing business as Universal Propertys; Leandro Velazquez; Samuel Velazquez; Joel Velazquez; Kiomary Cruz; Edgar Gonzalez; Vicente Virgilio; and Aaron Weiss.