United States of America vs. Kristina R. Cameron
District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
Criminal No.: 14-30123-NJR
UPCOMING EVENTS: Final pre-trial conference has been re-set for November 24, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. and Jury Trial has been re-set for December 2, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., both before Judge Rosenstengel at the United States District Courthouse, East St. Louis, Illinois.
On June 17, 2014 a grand jury returned a one count indictment charging Kristina R. Cameron with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with telemarketing. The indictment alleges that Cameron, and others were engaged in an extensive telemarketing scam which operated in Orlando, Florida that bilked thousands of victims of approximately $14.5 million dollars, victimizing consumers throughout the United States, six Canadian Provinces, and the Bahamas. There were at least 47 victims located in the Southern District of Illinois.
The Indictment alleges that Cameron was one of the owners of C&G Marketing Associates, LLC, a Florida corporation which, in 2009, defrauded consumers across the continent using the fictitious name, Premier Timeshare Solutions (“PTS”). PTS telemarketers worked in an office building in West Palm Beach, Florida. From there, they placed phone calls to timeshare owners, falsely representing or implying that the company had found someone who wanted to buy the person’s timeshare. In exchange for an advance fee that typically exceeded $1,000, the PTS telemarketers promised to handle all the details of the sale and send the victims the proceeds after closing. Once the victims had paid the advance fee, however (usually by giving the telemarketer their credit card information), the fraudulent company simply pocketed the money. There were no interested buyers, the closings did not occur, and the timeshares were not resold.
Victims who called PTS to check on the status of their transactions were directed to customer service representatives, managed by PTS co-owner Jose Goyos, whose goal was to perpetuate the fraud by delaying and discouraging chargebacks and complaints. To accomplish that goal, representatives would lie to victims, assuring them that despite some phony, unexpected delay, their timeshare unit was still going to be sold. Repeat callers were given a series of bogus excuses, none of which had any basis in fact. By instilling a false sense of hope, PTS aimed to delay the chargeback process beyond the time that most credit card issuers allow for disputes. Goyos was indicted in September 2013 and was sentenced to 96 months in prison on May 2, 2014.
The Indictment returned Tuesday charges that, after PTS was shut down in late 2009, Cameron continued to defraud consumers by opening and operating another timeshare re-sale fraud scheme known as Commercial Property Partners, LLC (“CPP”). Then, according to the Indictment, after CCP shut down in 2010, Cameron operated another fraudulent telemarketing business known as Federal Fee Recovery, LLC (“Federal Fee”). Federal Fee telemarketers called victims of timeshare re-sale scams, including PTS and CPP, and, in return for an upfront fee, falsely promised that they could help the victims recover what they had lost due to the timeshare re-sale scams.
If convicted of the charge, the defendant faces a term of imprisonment of up to twenty five (25) years, a $250,000 fine and five years’ supervised release.
Consumers who believe that they have been the victim of a consumer fraud should call the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or file an online complaint at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.