American Marketing Group ("AMG") was a Florida based telemarketing company which spun off of Universal Marketing Solutions (UMS) and Creative Vacation Solutions (CVS). It was begun by Jeffrey George and Gino Marquez, a former telemarketer at UMS. AMG used the same business and sales model that UMS and CVS used and the sales pitches were likewise materially identical.
In various court filings related to the UMS, CVS, and AMG scams, the government has alleged that the overall scam bilked approximately $35 million from approximately 25,500 victims throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory of Canada. UMS, CVS, and AMG victimized at least 68 timeshare owners in at least 30 of the 38 counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois and Canada.
Telemarketers for UMS, CVS, and AMG, engaged in a telemarketing scam intended to deceive consumers into believing that these timeshare resale companies had obtained firm and binding offers from purchasers to buy that consumer's timeshare interest. Consumers were told by UMS, CVS and AMG telemarketers that the purported sales of their timeshares would occur only after the consumers paid certain up-front fees that the companies represented would be returned at closing, which never occurred.
Despite collecting approximately $35 million in pre-paid up-front fees from consumers for "timeshare resale services," UMS, CVS and AMG were not instrumental in selling a single timeshare. The fees were not being used for closing costs or other expenses, but were instead being purloined to enrich the telemarketers and their bosses.
These, and other cases, are being investigated by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Trade Commission ,and the Florida Attorney General’s office. The prosecution of the cases is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Quinley and Katherine L Lewis.
Since there are a very large number of victims in this prosecution, these cases may be designated as “Multiple Crime Victim” cases by Court Order under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3771(d)(2). Accordingly, the principal means of communicating and consulting with the investigators and government lawyers regarding these cases will be through a designated email for victims. If you are a victim, and wish to contact us, please send an email to USAILS-VW_ILS@usdoj.gov, and provide your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Given the large number of victims in these matters, and our need to efficiently manage our multiple victim prosecutions, we ask that you communicate with us by email. If necessary, we can have someone respond to you by telephone.
Beware of companies that promise that you can get your money back from a timeshare resale scam by paying them an upfront fee. This is a pervasive scam.
To any victim who plans on attending any Court proceeding:
Victims have the right to attend public Court proceedings, subject to some limitations as determined by the Court. For many reasons Court proceedings may be cancelled or rescheduled on short notice. If you are planning to attend a scheduled hearing, please check this web site for any updates before coming to Court.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771(a) provides:
A crime victim has the following rights:
(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public Court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public Court proceeding, unless the Court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district Court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois
9 Executive Drive
Fairview Heights, Il 62208