In November, Steven Folan, of Florida, pleaded guilty to a thirteen count indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and twelve counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleged that Folan and others were involved in a telemarketing scam, operating in Florida, that bilked over 22,000 victims of $30 million.
The indictment alleged that the scam victimized consumers in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory of Canada. There were at least 54 victims in twenty eight (28) of the thirty eight (38) counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois.
The criminal indictment alleged that Folan was a manager of Universal Marketing Solutions, and later Creative Vacation Solutions. The indictment alleged that the scheme began October of 2007, and continued through at least January of 2010. Telemarketers for Universal Marketing Solutions and Creative Vacation Solutions placed cold calls to timeshare owners and then falsely represented that their company had actual buyers for the owners’ timeshare property.
Telemarketers they supervised then solicited advanced fees of up to several thousand dollars from each victim in purported closing costs that they promised would be refunded to the owner once the closing on the property occurred. Many timeshare owners were told that their closings were scheduled within the next sixty to ninety days. Despite collecting fees from 22,000 victims, these companies were not successful in selling a single timeshare unit, the indictment alleged. Defendants and their co-conspirators, the indictment alleged, simply pocketed the closing costs.
Two other men were indicted with Folan and their trial is currently scheduled to begin on December 12, 2011, in East St. Louis. Note that an indictment is simply a charge against a defendant. Each defendant is presumed to be innocent and is entitled to a fair trial on the charge at which the government must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Folan faces a penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to five years at his sentencing, currently set for March 9, 2012 – Source.
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