A Galloway Township man admitted in federal court Wednesday that he helped defraud time share owners of more than $70,000.
Eric Reilly, 34, pleaded guilty in Camden to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, a week after 10 others were indicted in an alleged money and wire fraud conspiracy.
The Vacation Ownership Group offered owners consulting services, including canceling their time shares, but instead pocketed the money, according to the charges.
Reilly started working for the Vacation Ownership Group in September 2010, and was trained by managers to call customers using a prepared script, and lie to them, according to information given in court. Reilly would falsely tell customers he was responding to a complaint they had made to time share developers and lenders. He gave customers the false impression that he was working for Wyndham Vacation Resorts, a developer of time share resorts.
Reilly then would claim his group could pay off the time shares or have them canceled. He also told some owners that their credit would not be damaged if they stopped paying for their time shares.
References he gave for the group were actually employees posing as satisfied customers, according to the information in court. One customer sent a check for $31,385.
About 225 victims were interviewed, claiming to have collectively lost more than $3 million, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announcing the indictments of 10 others last week.
They convinced owners that by sending the money to a post office box in Pleasantville, they could reduce the balance by as much as 50 percent of the original mortgage. Instead, the conspirators allegedly kept the time share owner’s money for their personal use.
Six of those indicted were from Atlantic County: Adam Lacerda, 28, and his wife, Ashley Lacerda, 32, of Egg Harbor Township; Ian Resnick, 37, of Absecon; Steven Cox, 48, of Ventnor; Francis Santore, 52, of Northfield; and Joseph Diventi, 32, of Somers Point.
Four others from areas including South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands were also indicted.
The conspiracy charge Reilly admitted to is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Reilly’s sentencing is scheduled for May 17.
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