Former Employee of Atlantic County, New Jersey Timeshare Consulting Firm Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Defraud Timeshare Owners
CAMDEN, NJ—A former employee of The Vacation Ownership Group LLC of Pleasantville, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for conspiring to defraud owners of timeshare properties by offering phony consulting services, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Joseph Saxon, 42, of Brigantine, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The Vacation Ownership Group, a/k/a VO Group LLC, had offices in Mays Landing, New Jersey, and Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and claimed to offer to owners of timeshares consulting services that included cancelling, purchasing and upgrading the timeshares.
In 2010, Saxon started working at the VO Group and was trained by VO Group co-owner Adam Lacerda, 31, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, to call customers using prepared scripts. The defendant called customers and gave them the false impression that he was working for a bank or lending institution. After hearing Saxon’s false representations, some customers sent checks to the VO Group. For example, Saxon falsely told one victim that Saxon was working with the bank that held the victim’s timeshare mortgage and that the bank wanted to settle the loan for a fraction of the price. The victim then mailed a check for $5,925 to the VO Group. Saxon admitted causing more than $120,000 in losses.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Saxon to three years of supervised release.
Lacerda, who was previously convicted at trial for his role in the scheme, was sentenced to 27 years in prison on June 25, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark; and special agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, New York Region, for the investigation. He also thanked the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.