Four Additional People Indicted in Federal Court for Participating in Nationwide Timeshare Telemarketing Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2013|
United States Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that a federal grand jury recently returned indictments against Tina M. Baalman (age 28), Jason D. Schultz (age 36), and Jessica M. Gilbert (age 24) of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as Jessica Weinhart (née Hensen; age 30) of Neenah, Wisconsin. Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Each is also subject to enhanced penalties under the Senior Citizens Against Marketing Scams, or SCAMS, Act. In total, eight individuals have now been indicted for their role in the conspiracy. Mark S. Parks, Mindy L. Parks, Eileen M. Goltz, and Ashley M. Conant currently face trial for their role in the matter.
As to each defendant, the maximum penalties are not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, a $100 special assessment, and a maximum three year term of supervised release. Additionally, if it is shown that 10 individuals over age 55 were victimized as a result of the defendants’ actions, an additional term of imprisonment of up to 10 years must be added to the underlying sentence.
According to documents filed in the case, the defendants are accused of participating in the operation of a fraudulent timeshare resale scheme in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which resulted in over 1,400 victims from all 50 states and Canada being defrauded of more than $2.3 million. The defendants operated from 2007 to 2011 under several different names, including Integrated Advertising Solutions, National Timeshare Resales, Administrative Timeshare Resales, and Midwest Timeshares. Victims were told that interested buyers were prepared to purchase their existing timeshares in exchange for upfront “administrative fees” ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on how much the telemarketers believed they could collect. Many of the victims are elderly and had previously been victimized by similar schemes.
This case was a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the assistance of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Door County Sheriff’s Office, Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove each of them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.