Richmond Vacation Broker Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud
RICHMOND, Va. – John Ross Greer, 59, of Richmond, Va., pleaded guilty today to Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge John A. Gibney.
Greer waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a one-count Criminal Information. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised when he is sentenced on September 19, 2012.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Greer admitted owning Richmond-based Unusual Villas and Island Rentals (“UVIR”), an internet-based brokerage firm specializing in domestic and international rentals of luxury private villas, islands, and other properties. Greer admitted that from about February 2008 through the present he used a website—http://www.unusualvillarentals.com—to solicit both vacationers and owners of vacation homes as clients. He also admitted that, on various occasions, he retained vacationers’ funds and commingled them with his other funds; regularly failed to forward vacationers’ funds, in whole and in part, to the owners; failed to return security deposits to vacationers; and, on at least two occasions, failed to pay commissions owed to travel agents. Greer acknowledged that he regularly used incoming vacationers’ funds to pay old vacationers’ claims and simply kept the vacationers’ funds without repayment.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Aber Brumberg is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.