In last Friday’s Letter from America we mentioned the Birmingham Crown Court hearing for the sentencing of Dominic O’Reilly & Stephanie O’Reilly of EZE Group, this was to have taken place on Monday of this week.
From information received it looks like EZE Groups legal counsel could not make it and asked for an adjournment before Monday’s hearing. Although it would still have had to be addressed in open court with a new date to be set.
A very strange fact that did emerge is that the hearing has been switched from sentencing to a directions hearing. This could indicate that their guilty pleas may have been withdrawn and a another plea will have to be made in open court. If they do plead guilty then the case will again have to be adjourned and pre-sentencing report carried out.
As we find out more we will publish here.
In another case which was announced on 17 April, against Francis Madden at Bournemouth Crown Court. The case was scheduled to last about six weeks, but news broke yesterday that Madden had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent trading between May 2012 and February 2016.
The case revolved around his “Holiday Club” companies, where people were invited to attend a “two hour presentation” which actually lasted more than “five hours”. They were sold accommodation which either did not exist or was near impossible to book for thousands of pounds. In most cases the accommodation could have been booked for far less via the internet.
Although clients had been informed that there was a cancellation period, when they did try to cancel they were told in was not possible. It also transpired that the exhausted clients were “frog marched” by staff to a cash machine to withdraw the payments.
Jailing him for a period of 40 months the judge called his conduct “reprehensible”.
It seems now that the authorities are finally catching up with these charlatans as only recently we have seen several jailed at Stafford Crown Court, EZE Group in the dock and some of Mark Rowe’s companies under police investigation.
See link to the Mail Online report:
When timeshare first started it was a very good concept, the accommodation was superb, far better than what was available through the high street travel agent, but something went very wrong. Greed took over.
Some of the first “scams” were the buying off plan schemes, where all you purchased was a hole in the ground and an architects plan. Many of these were never built with hundreds of people losing thousands of pounds.
The industry itself did little to “police itself”, countries laws where these timeshares were being built were not adequate, allowing many frauds to take place, with the perpetrators getting away with millions.
After the “off plan” scams, the industry through how the product was sold was instrumental in the next phase, the resale scam. As timeshares were being sold as “property” which would go up in value, the resale companies capitalised on this. Offering clients the promise of selling their timeshare for more than they actually paid for it, taking thousands to “list” the timeshare for sale and then disappearing.
Now because the laws have been strengthened, especially in Spain, we are seeing bogus claims companies taking thousands for relinquishments and no win no fee claims. Just recently Inside Timeshare has been getting enquiries about one of these companies, RSB Legal. Many have paid them to cancel their timeshare and claim the money back, but they are now no longer trading, they have simply vanished, leaving hundreds of clients out of pocket.
These stories show why you must do your due diligence and homework before going to any presentation, or doing business with any company. Check, check then check again, ask the questions, are they for real, how are they going to claim, can they do what they say they can do, how long have they been trading?
That last comment is probably one of the most important points, a company that has only been trading or registered for say 1 year, yet claims they have got back thousands and helped hundred of owners, is that actually possible?
If you have been contacted by any company or have found one on the internet and want to know if they are genuine, then contact Inside Timeshare and we will help you find out.
Remember doing your homework will save your hard earned cash!
Inside Timeshare would also like to share some great news with all our readers, our last article contributor Joshua Parker and his wife Nichole are the proud new parents of twins. Welcome to the family Matthew Alexander & Maverick Luke.