United States of America vs. Ryan Brazel, Brian Morris, and Steven Folan
United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Criminal No.: 11-30142-DRH
Ryan Brazel – Ryan Brazel was sentenced to 121 months in prison with 5 years supervised release along with a fine of $1,000 and special assessment fee of $100.00.
Steven Folan - Pled guilty on November 17, 2011. Steven Folan was sentenced on April 20, 2012. He received 60 months in prison.
Brian Morris - On September 29, 2012, Brian Morris was sentenced to 168 months in prison.
On August 17, 2011, RYAN BRAZEL, aged 31, BRIAN MORRIS, aged 45, and STEVEN FOLAN, aged 34, all of Palm Beach County Florida were named in a thirteen count indictment charging them with one count of CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MAIL FRAUD AND WIRE FRAUD and twelve counts of MAIL FRAUD. The indictment alleges that the three were involved in a telemarketing scam which operated in Florida that bilked over 22,000 victims of $30 million dollars. The indictment alleges 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.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The criminal indictment alleges that defendants were managers of Universal Marketing Solutions and later Creative Vacation Solutions in Palm Beach County, Florida. The indictment alleges that the scheme began October, 2007 and continued through at least January, 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 alleges. Defendants and their co-conspirators, the Indictment alleges, simply pocketed the closing costs.
The Defendants face 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.
The Indictment follows an investigation by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service which was assisted by the Boynton Beach (Florida) Police Department and the Florida Attorney General’s office. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce E. Reppert.