OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
STEPHEN R. WIGGINTON UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
Nine Executive Drive, Fairview Heights, Illinois 62208 402 West Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812
For Immediate Release Public Information Officer November 23, 2010 FAUSA Randy G. Massey (618) 628-3700
FLORIDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TIMESHARE RESALE SCAM
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on November 23, 2010, DARNELL DISROE, age 38, of Boynton Beach, Florida, formerly of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, entered a guilty plea to CONSPIRACY and MAIL FRAUD arising out of a timeshare resale scam which operated in Florida. DISROE was the last of the three defendants charged in the indictment to enter a guilty plea.
On July 21, 2010, a federal grand jury in East St. Louis, IL, returned a multi-count indictment against three Florida men: DARNELL DISROE, age 38, of Boynton Beach, Florida; MICHAEL LENTINE, age 32, of Boynton Beach, Florida; and MICHAEL STARACE, age 42, of Lantana, Florida. DISROE, LENTINE, and STARACE were each charged with CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT CERTAIN OFFENSES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND MAIL FRAUD. DISROE and LENTINE were charged with four counts of mail fraud and STARACE with a single count of mail fraud. Each count carries a penalty of up to 25 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or both, and a term of supervised release of up to five years on each count.
The indictment alleged that the three operated under the name Real Timeshare Marketing and conducted a telemarketing timeshare resale scheme targeting timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada. The indictment alleged that Real Timeshare Marketing false represented that they had found buyers for the consumers’ timeshare interests and solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each consumer in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses. The indictment alleged that the purported sales did not occur, closings were not scheduled as was often represented, and, in fact, Real Timeshare Marketing did not successfully sell any consumer’s timeshare interest. It was further alleged that Real Timeshare Marketing devoted essentially no resources to marketing their clients’ timeshare interest and simply pocketed the purported closing costs. In just a five month period between roughly December 1, 2009, when telemarketing sales commenced, and April 28, 2010, when the scheme was interrupted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, it was alleged that Real Timeshare Marketing victimized approximately 615 consumers in forty-six states and six provinces in Canada of over $1.3 million dollars.
Sentencing for the three men are as follows:
DARNELL DISROE: March 4, 2011
MICHAEL STARACE: January 28, 2011
MICHAEL LENTINE: January 7, 2011
The Indictment follows an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Boynton Beach, Florida Police Department. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce E. Reppert.