Yet another Vacation Ownership Group scam co-conspirator has been sentenced in N.J. Federal Court. Previous employee of The Vacation Ownership Group LLC, Eric Reilly, 34, of Galloway, was sentenced July 21, 2014 to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution for conspiracy to rip off timeshares owners throughout the United States, as U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Reilly had recently entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. The guilty plea was entered to U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman. Judge Hillman subsequently imposed Reilly’s sentence in Federal court in Camden, NJ.
Documents filed in federal court stated that The Vacation Ownership Group, a.k.a VO Group LLC, represented itself as a timeshare cancellation service and timeshare consulting service.
Court records showed that Reilly was hired in September 2010 by the V.O. Group and thusly trained by managers at the company to place phone calls to timeshare owners and blatantly lie to them, claiming he was calling in regards to complaints the owners had made to Wyndham Vacation Resorts. Reilly falsely portrayed himself as an employee of Wyndham Resorts, and then instructed the timeshare owners that V.O. Group would cancel their timeshare contracts for them.
The Vacation Ownership Group scam proceeded to defraud timeshare owners by convincing them that there would be no damage to their credit scores should they quit paying their timeshare fees. Reilly fraudulently coerced timeshare owners to send checks for thousands of dollars based on lies and false promises. These included one unfortunate timeshare owner who sent the V.O. Group a check totaling $31,385. Reilly did subsequently admit that he brought in more than $70,000 using these deceptive practices.
Along with the prison term, Judge Hillman gave Reilly a sentence of 3 years of closely monitored release and ordered him to pay restitution of $3,040,767.
Back in September, 2013 V.O. Group company founder, Adam Lacerda and wife Ashley Lacerda were both convicted on multiple counts of wire and mail fraud along with several other Vacation Ownership Group employees and associates. Lacerda trained his employees to lie to timeshare owners, stating that the V.O. group could cancel their timeshare contracts and get them money back in the process, taking money from unsuspecting and desperate timeshare owners and never delivering on their promises.
Timeshare owners who are seeking a way out of their timeshare contracts are urged to work only with timeshare cancellation companies who are fully vetted with the Better Business Bureau and local Chambers of Commerce. As well, it is always wise to pay for any timeshare related services using a credit card that offers consumer protection in the form of chargebacks for services not rendered. Had victims of the Vacation Ownership Group scam followed these guidelines, they could have sidestepped this despicable crime.