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January 2019

Consumer Warning from Canarian Legal Alliance: Silverpoint Company Participations

A warning has been issued by Canarian Legal Alliance to all clients who have purchased the SilverpointCompany Participations” scheme, another twist has now come to light.

It would now appear that clients who purchased into this scheme, which has already resulted in many cases being taken to court, are being contacted by the very people who sold it to them in the first place.

As we know Ali Farhoud and his brother Mike Farhoud were actively selling this scheme, which involves clients paying thousands of euros, in some case upwards of 150,000€, for so-called “participations” (shares) in apartments which are registered as SL companies, along with promises of rental income and eventual sale with a return on the “investment”. (see link below)

http://insidetimeshare.com/mid-week-news/

Clients of CLA have informed them they have been contacted by the Farhoud brothers with the express offer that they will relinquish their contracts, obviously for a hefty fee. This will result in all these clients losing out on their “investments”, leaving them out of pocket by thousands of Euros. The sole purpose is once the contracts are terminated, Silverpoint is then free of the threat of being taken to court by the clients.

Mike Farhoud

 

Now the question is, how are they getting the clients information to contact them?

The answer is very simple, as we stated, if these contracts are terminated, the client then has no recourse to take the case to litigation, so what has Silverpoint to lose by supplying the client information, absolutely nothing, but all to gain, free of the threat of legal action and at the same time making more money through the termination.

At present, there are many cases already at court waiting for trial dates, with many more at CLA lawyers undergoing case preparation. The first case to reach a conclusion, which we reported on these pages in November 2018, Silverpoint and their lawyers admitted to the court that the “Company Participations” were indeed timeshare. Obviously, the whole scheme was to dupe the consumer and circumvent the strict timeshare laws. (see link below)

http://insidetimeshare.com/silverpoint-company-participations-is-timeshare/

According to Canarian Legal Alliance they have only just scraped the tip of the proverbial iceberg, there are still man many clients from all over Europe who have been drawn into this scheme. Most don’t even realise that they have purchased nothing but promises and fresh air.

CLA are once again leading the way, Anja has been researching this scheme for almost 2 years, she is their leading expert of this “product”, if you have purchased into the “Company Participations Scheme”, then for more information contact her on the following number or email address:

+34 616 243 309

[email protected]

 

Scammers Hijack Legitimate Company

Just recently Inside Timeshare has received several enquiries from readers being contacted by callers claiming to be from Haydens Solutions Limited. The calls are all very familiar, your timeshare company or a previous one you have dealt with such as for resale, has been taken to court and yes you have guessed it, there is a substantial amount of money waiting for you at the court.

The caller, explains they are calling from Haydens Solutions Limited based in Milton Keynes, they also give the company registration number, 07600481. So who is this company?

According to Company House records this company was registered on 12 April 2011 and the director is Jonathan Coakley, the registered address for the company and the director is:

27 Allington Circle, Kingsmead, Milton Keynes, England, MK4 4EE

Which according to google maps street view is a rather nice 3 story townhouse.

Now after doing some checks on Mr Coakley, we have found his profile on Linkedin, according to this he is a very respectable businessman with a very impressive resumé, so we can safely say that his company details have been hijacked to give the calling scammers credibility when any searches are made on the internet.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-coakley-0275a3a/?originalSubdomain=uk

One of our readers who Inside Timeshare has been working with on their ongoing dispute with their timeshare company for around 3 years, gave us some valuable information, which corroborated what other readers have told us.

This reader was told that their timeshare company was taken to court and there is over £19,000 waiting for them to collect, but to do this they would need to transfer over £1900 to the bank account of one Mr A C Haley. The account number which we have tried to check doesn’t show, this may be due to our reader who is elderly writing it down incorrectly, but the sort code 09-01-34 does check out.

The bank for this sort code is for Santander UK Ltd with the branch address:

Bridle Road Bootle, Merseyside, L30 4GB.

Our elderly reader is a little suspicious, after all they have been scammed for a lot of money in the past, they asked for some confirmation from the caller as to the details and verification of the court case. After a minute or so with the sound of shuffling papers in the background the nice lady by the name of Lucy, told her the case number, (which we know is not genuine), the name of the judge, Jose Gonzalez, along with the date the trial took place, 17 March 2016 in Valencia!

Well considering our reader has been in touch with Inside Timeshare since then we both know that she had not had a case in court. Plus the fact if they had a case going to court it would have been in one of the Malaga Courts as that is where the timeshare was purchased and is located.

Another name that has been mentioned is Jane Kayleigh, with a very similar story.

All readers were given a contact number 01908 973017, (Milton Keynes) but when this has been called by Inside Timeshare, the first time a gentleman with a Spanish accent answered, when Jane was asked for, he made out he didn’t understand. On the further 2 calls, it went straight to a recording saying all lines are busy. So just because it is a Milton Keynes code, the call appears to be transferring to Spain.

So if you do get a call from anyone claiming to be from Haydens Solutions Limited, telling you about a court case and that money is waiting for you, remember it will be a scam.

Haydens Solutions Limited is not calling timeshare owners, it has nothing to do with timeshare and is being used by criminals to defraud timeshare owners.

Contact Inside Timeshare if you do get a call, all information will be useful and will help to inform and protect others.

 

The Tuesday Slot

Welcome to the Tuesday Slot, this week we welcome Pete Gibbes, with another Secret Shopper report. Pete as Secret Shopper Coordinator, has revised the secret shopper questions, this is part 1.

But first a quick summary of some news from the Spanish Courts. Canarian Legal Alliance has reported that last week they received eleven (11) new sentences, these were against Anfi Del Mar, Silverpoint and Petchey Leisure. Once again the courts have declared the contracts null and void, plus ordering the return of substantial sums of money to the clients, with this week alone over 340,000€ having been awarded.

Over the next 30 days, CLA have informed Inside Timeshare of the number of trial and pre-trials they have in various courts around Spain, it is a staggering 101! That is certainly keeping the judicial system busy.

Their execution of sentence department headed by Cristina Batista and Judith Diaz Pascual, have filed “provisional executions”, with a total worth of over 6 million euros against all major timeshare resorts. The total value is over 6.000.000,00 € and is against all of mayor timeshare resorts.

These execution orders are made in the interests of the clients and ensure that the resorts payout what they have been ordered to.

Now for this weeks article.

Secret Shopper Questions Revised, the Backstory – Part I

Part II – Friday February 8, Secret Shopper Questions

By Pete Gibbes, Secret Shopper Coordinator

January 29, 2019

I previously wrote about a positive timeshare sales presentation I attended not long ago in Sedona, Arizona. I mentioned that my Diamond Resorts sales agent and manager expressed shock and dismay at the misrepresentations we told them we experienced at a November 18, 2016 Virginia sales presentation. The Sedona agents stated that they were appalled and determined they would go to bat for me by contacting headquarters. I was asked to write out my complaint. Wary but hopeful, I waited. As expected, nothing happened.

http://insidetimeshare.com/fridays-letter-from-america-29/

To recap what happened at the 2016 Virginia presentation, we attended a member update hoping to learn about how to get rid of 11,500 timeshare points we had previously purchased. After several hours our sales agent had an epiphany. He recalled a new program that would give us the option to sell ALL of our points back to Diamond Resorts! We listened to three more hours of this agent’s version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. After the sixth repetition, we became convinced this program existed. He told us, (and wrote down on a paper), a figure of $108,000 which was the amount he said we should be able to sell our points back for in three years. While I presently cannot locate the paper with $108,000 written on it, I do still have this agent’s “pencil pitch” indicating a “value” of $72k ($72,420 to be exact if you multiply the 8,500 points proposed times $8.52 per point). A formal proposal containing the exact numbers was presented, but that document is proprietary so we cannot present in this article. Diamond will argue that $8.52 per point represents “retail” not “resale” value, but I contend not disclosing Diamond points are virtually worthless is a material omission. Licensed timeshare brokers I contacted, who do not charge upfront money to list timeshare points, will not accept a listing for Diamond points.

Diamond Resorts has launched a program called CLARITY™ promising clear, concise, transparent and accountable information.  This is what I was provided:

At the bottom of this unclear pencil pitch, you see “G 2” and “S 3”, and below that ‘Loyalty 3 ys’. This meant that in 3 years we would have earned enough loyalty to sell the points back at a handsome profit. If we became Gold, we could sell back in two years. According to the sales agent, this new buyback policy was not available to mere Standard members like us who owned less than 15,000 points. We agreed to buy 4000 points for $15,500 to become coveted Silver members in order to qualify for the buyback program.

When I complained to Diamond I was told I did not have sufficient written evidence. I made up G2 and S3?

I remember asking the sales agent how Diamond could afford to offer a $108,000 buyback which could have exceeded our cumulative purchase price plus maintenance fees. He mentioned investment returns Diamond makes on sales. As an MBA and a CFP this made sense to me, as it made sense to George Yamada, a pension administrator who purchased Diamond points thinking he was making an investment. George is an Army veteran, Agent Orange disabled.  

http://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-5/

It appears I was not the only member excited about how this ingenious new buyback program was going to make their product more attractive to buyers. The sales agent, Mark Wilkerson, no longer works for Diamond, but he explained the program as a brand new Apollo related deal. Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm, acquired Diamond Resorts.

Does Diamond think I would go to this much trouble if I was making this up? Under threat of perjury, I have filed a complaint with the Virginia Attorney General’s office that has been under review.

Unfortunately, I do not possess a video tape of the presentation. This has prompted me to volunteer to be our Secret Shopper Coordinator. I’m on a media binge to warn other timeshare buyers to RECORD THE SALES SESSION! This is legal in Virginia as Virginia, like some other states, is a one party state. I feel this is the only road to true clarity.

https://www.justanswer.com/law/4cemo-illegal-audio-record-someone-virginia-without.html

Not only did we pay $15,500 for nothing, we incurred additional ongoing maintenance fees and $2,250 in income taxes on a retirement distribution I had to make to pay for the purchase.

I asked for the contract to be cancelled and my down payment refunded. I am asking nothing for my permanent loss of faith in humanity. Like several members of our 2,400 member sponsored Diamond Facebook page, I am disabled. My sole source of income is my SSI disability income. I have learned from our Facebook other timeshare companies also respond to complaints with, “We are not responsible for what our sales agents say,” and “You signed a contract.” I received a certified letter from Diamond’s legal department (Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Officer) asking for written evidence. I provided the pencil pitch above, but even that does not break through the oral representation clause.   

Timeshare sales agents are not supposed to deviate from company approved sales strategies, but complaints from timeshare buyers continue to flood the internet, Attorneys General offices, the Better Business Bureau and other regulatory agencies. With little enforcement, we feel members need to take matters into their own hands by becoming Secret Shoppers so we can evaluate for other members how near or far a timeshare sales agent ventures from his or her script.

We have about a dozen Secret Shoppers. We arm our Secret Shoppers with intelligent questions timeshare buyers often forget to ask. It is our hope we can publish some positive Secret Shopper experiences. After compiling over 500 timeshare complaints, we have determined the most popular complaints involve:

  • Maintenance fee relief programs that do not exist,
  • The ability to sell points or weeks when there is no secondary market,
  • Misrepresenting the value of using a credit card to offset maintenance fees,

Having run on for many words describing what was supposed to be a brief introduction to our Secret Shopper questions; Friday, February 8 we will publish our revised Secret Shopper questions as a Part II to this article.

Contact me at Inside Timeshare if you would like to become a Secret Shopper.

We seek to provide timeshare members a way to proactively address membership concerns; to advocate for timeshare reform; to obtain greater disclosure from the company; to advocate for a viable secondary market; and to educate prospective buyers.

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://everythingabouttimeshares.com/consider-exchange-options/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/465692163568779/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Thank you Pete, we look forward to part 2 next month.

If you have any questions or comments about this or any other article, contact Inside Timeshare, we welcome your input.

Do you have any questions regarding your timeshare, how can you get out or if you have a valid claim, then again use our contact page, we will try to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Remember, not everything you will be told by many of these companies touting for business will be true, most will only be after your money, so do your homework and do your due diligence.