South Florida Man Sentenced For Bilking Consumers
On July 10, 2014, Peter L. Massimino II was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison to be followed by 2 years supervised release, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today. United States District Court Judge Michael J. Reagan sentenced Massimino for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with an international telemarketing scam. The plea agreement states that Massimino, and others were engaged in an extensive telemarketing scam which operated in Palm Beach County, Florida, that swindled thousands of victims of over $35 million dollars, victimizing consumers throughout the United States, and all ten Canadian Provinces and the Northwest Territory. There were at least 68 victims located in the Southern District of Illinois.
According to documents filed in Court, between October 5, 2007, and continuing until on or about January 2010, Massimino was a telemarketer and manager at Universal Marketing Solutions (UMS) and American Marketing Group (AMG). During that time, Massimino and other telemarketers falsely represented that they had found buyers for the consumers’ timeshare interests and solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each consumer in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses. There were no interested buyers, the closings did not occur, and the timeshares were not resold. “This entire scheme, put simply, was nothing but an act of thievery.” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “Again, I urge consumers to be wary of unsolicited telephone calls pitching schemes that sound too good to be true. Hang up!”
This case was investigated by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Bruce E. Reppert and Nathan Stump and by Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hallock.