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Press Release

Lead Defendant in Multimillion-Dollar Boiler Room Scam that Targeted Timeshare Owners Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

LOS ANGELES – A former Long Beach resident was sentenced today to 121 months in federal prison for leading a telemarketing scheme in which boiler room tactics were used to scam dozens of timeshare owners out of more than $5 million by giving them false promises of financial relief.

Michael McDonagh, 43, who currently resides in Cohasset, Massachusetts, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter, who also ordered him to pay $5,469,271 in restitution.

McDonagh pleaded guilty in May 2023 to one count of wire fraud.

This criminal case’s lead defendant, McDonagh founded and/or controlled several telemarketing companies – Irvine-based Global Transfer Inc., Costa Mesa-based Global Transfer SoCal Inc., Santa Ana-based Nationwide Transfer Inc., and Signal Hill-based Nationwide Exit Specialist Inc. – that purported to offer timeshare relief. Once one telemarketing company became inundated with consumer complaints, McDonagh would form a new telemarketing company to perpetuate the fraud.

From 2015 to May 2019, “openers” who worked for the McDonagh-controlled telemarketing companies contacted timeshare owners and offered to help them terminate their timeshare interest for a fixed fee. If the timeshare owner expressed interest in the telemarketing companies’ services, the call was transferred to a “closer” who convinced victims to sign contracts with the telemarketing companies to get them out of their timeshare for a “one-time fee.”

Within weeks of the victim paying the fee, the victims were contacted and told a series of lies to induce them to pay more money. For example, some victims were falsely told that they would obtain – for an additional fee – a large settlement payment based on purported litigation against the victim’s timeshare company.

McDonagh and his co-schemers also made false promises of securing – for an additional fee – a large “restitution” payment from the victim’s timeshare company because the timeshare company had purportedly rented out the victim’s timeshare property without the victim’s permission.

More than $5 million in actual losses were caused by McDonagh or his co-schemers whom he employed at his telemarketing companies.

The other four defendants charged with along with McDonagh also have pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and await sentencing.

“[McDonagh] and those who operated in the scheme he orchestrated defrauded over 500 victims, robbing many of them of significant savings – and some of over $100,000,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “During the multi-year scheme, [McDonagh] exhibited callousness to the plight of his victims, including telling his co-schemers to take ‘no prisoners’ and have ‘[n]o remorse.’”

The United States Secret Service and the Huntington Beach Police Department investigated this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas F. Rybarczyk of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section and Ian V. Yanniello of the General Crimes Section prosecuted this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated January 22, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-013