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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Williamsburg Attorney Sentenced for Timeshare Fraud

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Williamsburg lawyer guilty of her role in a conspiracy to fraudulently transfer of hundreds of timeshare units was sentenced today to 50 months in prison.

Deborah Wagner, 45, pleaded guilty on September 9. According to court documents, Wagner conspired with others in a wide-ranging scheme to engage in the fraudulent transfer of timeshare units into the names of stolen identities and straw owners. Over the several years that the scheme operated, Wagner and her conspirators caused over $2 million in losses to resorts and owner associations while earning hundreds of thousands from individuals who sought a legitimate means to divest their timeshare ownership, but were persuaded to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to transfer companies. These transfer companies, with Wagner’s involvement, then transferred these time share units into unqualified straw owners with no ability or intention to make the required maintenance fee payments.

Wagner worked with two Williamsburg based businesses - GoodBye Timeshare, LLC, and Exotic Equity Transfers, LLC, in conducting the transfers. The owners of these businesses, Brendan Hawkins and Keith Kosco, were prosecuted separately and received sentences of 46 months and 74 months in prison, respectively, in 2015. These other businesses paid Wagner’s law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for conducting the fraudulent transfers. Additionally, Wagner created a nominee company for the purpose of recruiting additional straw owners to use in the scheme.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brain J. Samuels and Howard J. Zlotnick prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:15-cr-28.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated July 20, 2017