Six Atlantic County residents are among 10 people indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged roles in a $3 million mail and wire fraud conspiracy involving time-share mortgages.
The allegations say the suspects, through the Vacation Ownership Group, convinced owners of time shares from other developers to give money to VO Group to pay off the mortgages on the time shares.
They convinced owners that by sending the money to a post office box in Pleasantville that 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.
The investigation also found that to cover up the alleged scheme, the conspirators would buy additional time shares in the victim's name without the victim's knowledge.
About 225 victims were interviewed and the money totals more than $3 million, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
Indicted were 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 defendants are expected to be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in Camden federal court in the coming weeks.
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