Richmond Internet Vacation Broker Sentenced to Five Years for Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 19, 2012|
RICHMOND, VA—John Ross Greer, 59, of Richmond, Virginia, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for mail fraud in connection with his Internet vacation brokerage website. Greer also agreed to pay $627,315.41 in restitution and forfeiture.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.
Greer pled guilty on May 29, 2012, to one count of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. According to court documents, Greer was the president and sole shareholder of Unusual Villas and Island Rentals (UVIR), a Virginia company established in 1995. UVIR is an Internet-based brokerage firm specializing in domestic and international rentals of luxury private villas, islands, and other properties. Greer would retain funds from vacationers and vacation villa owners to personally enrich himself and pay past due business expenses. On various occasions, he retained vacationers’ funds and commingled them with his other funds. He also regularly failed to (a) forward vacationers’ funds, in whole and in part, to the owners; (b) return security deposits to vacationers; and (c) on at least two occasions, pay commissions owed to travel agents. Greer would routinely use incoming vacationers’ funds to pay old vacationers’ claims or simply kept the vacationers’ funds without repayment. The court granted the motion of the United States to sentence Greer above the advisory sentencing guideline range, in part due to Greer’s 1982 fraud conviction in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Aber Brumberg prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.