Friday’s Letter from America

Welcome to another edition of the Inside Timeshare Letter from America, today we publish Part 3 of the GoFundMe Campaign for Irene Parker and her Legal Defense Fund. As we know she has now become the focal point of attention in the lawsuit filed by Diamond Resorts against Finn Law Group, so far over $5,000 has been raised. In this weeks article, Irene explains how the VOLUNTARY work she does in helping others has taken control of her life and is actually costing her money. Your contributions will not only help Irene but will also send a message to Diamond that she does have our support!

How Diamond Resorts Thwarted my Dream to Teach Piano Lessons 

Pictured above a Diamond Member who visited my house on vacation from England

Please donate $10 (or more) to my GoFundMe to let your voice be heard or contribute anonymously

GoFundMe Launched: September 26, 2019

Link to my GoFundMe: Over $5,500 donated in one week towards $25,000 goal!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/irene-parker-diamond-resort-legal-defense-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2B2300-co-team-welcome

October 4, 2019 

By Irene Parker

The reason for my GoFundMe Legal Defense Fund is because I have become the central focus of a lawsuit Diamond Resorts filed against Finn Law Group in 2015. At a six-hour deposition, conducted at the law office of Baker Hostetler in Orlando, Diamond’s outside counsel attorney ran out of “no” answers to questions about receiving or paying money to the law firm. Seemingly at a loss, the two attorneys left the conference room to confer. When they returned, they took a new direction.

As I understand Diamond’s case against me, because it feels like a case against me, it is because they contend I am greatly enriched by receiving free legal advice from attorney Mike Finn in exchange for my soliciting Diamond members to sign up with Finn Law Group. I have never been compensated by any attorney, law firm, or timeshare member. I have listened to and responded to over 1,000 timeshare families. This link to the Orlando Sentinel article is about the lawsuit:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-orange-lake-timeshare-finn-20180404-story.html

Diamond’s accusations leave me infuriated, thankfully not beyond words. The volume of angry and mostly desperate timeshare members contacting me through Inside Timeshare, or through social media, has increased from one member on average every two weeks in 2016, to a current average of three members a day.

What this means is I can’t take piano students. In 2015 it was my intention to resurrect by first love career – teaching piano lessons. At ten students a week, I could have earned $100 a week at $10 per student. I could have charged more, but the five students I taught were mostly neighbours and friends. When you’re living on a fixed income, $400 a month is nothing to sneeze at. In the fall of 2015, we moved from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Venice, Florida. We used our Diamond points while nomads in-between houses.         

Today’s article proves I really did intend to move to Florida to teach piano lessons before I attended the ill-fated timeshare presentation at Diamond Resort’s Grand Beach Resort. https://insidetimeshare.com/peasant-venice-queen-versailles/

I’m hoping Maya P, formerly with Diamond’s PR firm Prosek, will be deposed because when Maya called me the first time in 2016, I was teaching a piano lesson. Our initial phone conversation went like this:

Maya: “Irene, this is Maya from Prosek, Diamond’s PR firm. Can we chat?”

Irene: “I’m in the middle of teaching a piano lesson. Can I call you back?”

Maya: “You’re a piano teacher???!!!”

Irene: “Yes, we’re ruthless. I’ll call you back as soon as we’re finished.”

Maya: “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano.” 

This student is five years old, playing from her John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Book 1. This picture was taken on May 20, 2016, when I would only hear from a timeshare member about once every two weeks.

The pace of callers picked up after I started publishing articles for Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money’s investment news service TheStreet. I was reaching out and unknowingly emailed TheStreet. One of the editors responded asking to arrange an interview to become a TheStreet contributor. My first TheStreet article was an editors’ pick. It was about how I made my worst enemy a fortune during the stock market crash beginning Black Monday, October 19, 1987. I’m hoping that is how all this turns out.

How I Made my Worst Enemy so much Money

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13576145/1/the-markets-crashed-my-first-day-as-a-stockbroker-and-here-s-what-i-did-next.html

Diamond ignored me until I published June 20, 2016, TheStreet article about how Apollo Global Management acquired Diamond in 2016. I have to admit I went berserk after I read the announcement. Apollo’s predecessor company was Drexel Burnham Lambert. DBL filed bankruptcy on a $650 million fine and Michael Milken was sent to jail for securities fraud. You can imagine my reaction when I learned – Drexel BOUGHT MY VACATION PLAN!!!?? My husband and I had been DBL clients.

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13624491/1/is-apollo-returning-to-its-junk-roots-with-its-acquisition-of-diamond-resorts.html

DBL banker Leon Black formed Apollo after the DBL bankruptcy. Mr. Black’s name is being circulated among the power brokers associated with the late Jeffery Epstein’s “Financial Black Book” concerning sex trafficking.

In order to find out how he (Jeffrey Epstein) amassed his fortune, it may take subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York to Wall Street types in Epstein’s inner circle—people such as Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and CEO of L Brands, Glenn Dubin, the billionaire co-founder of the hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management, and Leon Black, the billionaire founder of Apollo Global Management, the private-equity behemoth.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/jeffrey-epsteins-financial-black-book

In addition to traditional piano lessons, I teach jazz piano, having mastered 13th chords after studying for five years with St. Louis jazz great Herb Drury. Prior to studying with Herb, I majored in classical piano at Lindenwood Colleges in St. Charles, Missouri.

Student Brian is a former Sarasota police officer and certified alligator wrestler. Brian plays by ear. I taught him some music theory.

Finally, we have Robert, brother to the five year old pictured above, Robert is playing a Sarabande at The Springs skilled care facility. I wish I could take credit for Robert’s brilliant ability, age 9, but I was his interim piano teacher while his piano teacher recovered from surgery. Robert speaks Polish and English. His piano teacher speaks Russian. The Springs activity director, who arranged our venues, was at her wit’s end trying to get rid of her Westgate timeshare. 

Pictured above Robert playing a Handel Sarabande at The Springs

Thank you if you are still reading. It is my hope this narration may convince timeshare power brokers and potential donors that I am not the kind of person to hustle law clients in exchange for great financial gain.

Never in my wildest imagination did I think answering the phone and responding to emails from infuriated timeshare members would lead to this. Who would have thought referring to any law firm, when asked a legal question that I was not legally able to answer, or because the timeshare member did not have the time or temperament to self-advocate, would be described illegal or immoral?  

Thank you to all donors. It is painful to have to ask for money from timeshare members already financially distressed because they made the mistake of buying timeshare points that led to their insolvency. By directing the vast majority of over 700 Diamond members to Diamond, as opposed to an exit company provider, or to an attorney, I probably saved Diamond and the members a fortune in legal and arbitration fees. Another way of saying no good deed goes unpunished:   

My Inside Timeshare September 24, 2019 article explains the subpoena.

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-49/

We seek to provide timeshare members with 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://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/everything-about-timeshares-wayne-c-robinson/1129749757?ean=2940161600962

Free at Last Timeshare Support Course offered by Straight-A-Guide

https://www.udprep.info/june

Bluegreen Facebook

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

Wyndham Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376743609795740/

Wyndham Carriage Resorts Facebook

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

Sapphire Starpoint  https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgroups%2F292083584642570%2F%3Fref%3Dshare

Diamond Resort Facebook

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

Gold Key Facebook

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

Inside Timeshare Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/insidetimeshare/

Inside Timeshare Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2213231165610648/

Thank you, Irene and thanks to all who have donated so far, there is still a long way to go but with your help, the target will be reached. In the time I have known and worked with Irene she has selflessly put others first, I have on many occasions spoken with her and given her encouragement to lift her spirits. Inside Timeshare calls on all our readers to now help her in her hour of need. Thank you.

That is it for this week, join us again next week for more on news and information on the murky world of timeshare. Have a great weekend. 


4 Comments

  • Bill Nygard

    October 4, 2019

    Thank you for this (yet another) great piece Irene!

    Reply
  • Pete

    October 4, 2019

    Next DRI will depose your piano students and offer them a cruise to flip on you. You have purchased a steinway with the income from all the lying DRI members you are raking in the dough from, right?

    Reply
  • Bill White

    October 6, 2019

    Irene, your fairness, honesty, and persistence are exemplary !! So many people are following your lead in this crusade. I hope some of them let you know the difference you have made.!!

    Reply
  • Irene Parker

    October 7, 2019

    Thank you Bill. You always find out who your friends are when adversity hits. You have been with me through think and thin. Thank you. Irene

    Reply

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