EAST ST. LOUIS, ILLINOIS (CBSMiami) – Federal Prosecutors say he helped to rip off more than 22 thousand victims and scammed then from more than $30 million. Now, a West Palm Beach man will spend the next 10 years in a federal prison for his role in a time-share scheme.
32-year-old Ryan Brazel helped manage Florida-based Universal Marketing Solutions and later Creative Vacation Solutions, a company that used telemarketers to convince people who owned time shares they had buyers for their properties.
From 2007 through 2009, as the vacation market failed and time share valued dropped, the feds said the two companies made cold calls to time share owners offering to broker the sales.
The workers solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars in purported closing costs that they promised to refund when the deals closed, but the companies kept the money.
Many timeshare owners were told that their closings were scheduled within the next sixty to ninety days. Despite collecting fees from 22,000 victims, these companies were not successful in selling a single timeshare unit, according the prosecutors.
Court filings have alleged that the scam victimized consumers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory of Canada.
Brazel is just the latest of a host of people charged in the scheme.