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The word “Fraud” has always been the same the world over and is used frequently by consumers when discussing selling or reselling timeshares. Selling and reselling a timeshare is riddled with scam tricksters and fraudulent operators. Of course, the sellers of a timeshare can look legitimate, of course, they have a glossy website, happy brochures, great goodies and offer guarantees, clearly they are presentable smart and persuasive, and clearly, they have good marketing skills, but many are still con men. Parts of the legitimate timeshare industry has made efforts to resurrect some morals into the timeshare industry, yet still, the bandits of “by-gone days” are still with us, still serving the miserable meal and stealing consumer’s money. No matter what laws, regulations are brought into effect, no matter how many crooks are “banged up”, they still keep coming they still, keep robbing and they still, keep stealing with wild promises and unkempt dreams. They all get caught, they all get sentenced and they all get locked up eventually.

In a recent case, 10 crooks were convicted for perpetrating timeshare re-selling crimes, They took £1 Million of UK citizens and the ringleader was jailed for over 7 years. Banged up, locked away and clearly dis-chuffed, he decided to appeal the sentence as being “unfair”. The “Black Country” crook Shivjit Bagharian, of Smethwick was a convicted timeshare fraudster and needed his sentence slashed. However, the court saw differently and recalled the ‘cynical and ruthless’ timeshare scams he and is employees perpetrated. The court, therefore, chucked out his appeal and reconfirmed the sentence.

Not exactly racked with guilt, this intermittent “eyebrow” crook was marched to his cell to vent his spleen on his own mind.

Shivjit Singh Bagharian, 31, of St Albans Road, Smethwick, was one of 10 criminals sentenced for their roles in the £1 million timeshare fraud.

Clearly, the court’s view was, the directing minds of the enterprise were guilty but also the “bent” salespeople and their support staff were as well. They are now convicting the financial teams and compliance offices the ropers and the onsite support staff as they too, played a key role in the delusion, which causes the loss of £1 million.

In respect to the “re-sellers of timeshare,” they did not sell timeshare but were very happy taking money to do so. They like others, they targeted the elderly, the vulnerable and the confused. Put simply they conned people and tricked them into handing over thousands of pounds. The ringleader Bagharian admitted conspiracy to defraud and will have received a lighter sentence, however that lighter sentence still meant a cell for seven years and two months. The sentence in respect to this timeshare selling gang was delivered out of the Birmingham Crown Court in January.  Bagharian appealed on Thursday, but got a “slapping” from top judges led by the lord chief justice Lord Thomas who said, “the prison term was justified”.

Like some resellers of timeshare, the small £1 m timeshare gang targeted pensioners and in doing so, left many of their victims feeling hurt, humiliated and violated.

Mr Justice Fraser, giving judgement on behalf of Lord Thomas and Mr Justice Wilkie, said “the gang had deliberately targeted very vulnerable victims. They cold-called timeshare owners, offering to provide a legitimate service to help them sell their properties. Modest fees were requested, but the fraudsters then returned asking for more and more.”

Like some who pander to the requests of “please sell my timeshare” this gang claimed, “the money was needed for legal fees and taxes”. Using boiler room pressuring techniques and intimidation, many victims handed over their cash. “All of the victims were elderly, some of them recently bereaved, and all vulnerable”, said Mr Justice Fraser.

Crooks surrounding timeshare can extort from the elderly and in this and other cases we hear about, some have lost their entire life savings to the ‘lucrative’ fraudsters.

The gangs keep coming, the robbing is at epidemic levels and in this case, these crooks pocketed over £1 m between 2011 and 2013. “The victims had not been out to ‘get rich quick’, simply wanting to sell their genuine assets”.

The judge slapped down the crooks arguments rejected Bagharian’s claim that he had been too harshly punished and said: “the plot was ‘cynical and ruthless”. “It was a carefully planned fraud”, “executed in a ruthless way and targeting those who were elderly and vulnerable,”. “It is not arguable that the sentence was manifestly excessive and the application for leave to appeal is therefore refused.”

 


Posted on: 16th January 2017