RECENT EVENTS: On September 10, 2012, John Thomas Egan was sentenced to 90 months in prison and will serve 3 years supervised release at the end of his sentence.
The Information alleges that between on or about the 15th day of October, 2007, through at least January, 2010, in St. Clair, Madison, Bond, Clark, Calhoun, Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Gallatin, Green, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Wabash, Washington and Williamson Counties, within the Southern District of Illinois and elsewhere, JOHN THOMAS EGAN, Jennifer Kirk, and others known and unknown, doing business as Universal Marketing Solutions (“UMS”) and Creative Vacation Solutions (“CVS”), conducted a telemarketing timeshare resale scheme targeting timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada. UMS and CVS 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. The purported sales did not occur, closings were not scheduled as was often represented, and, in fact, UMS and CVS did not successfully sell any consumer’s timeshare interest. UMS and CVS failed to devote substantial resources to marketing their clients’ timeshare interest and simply pocketed the purported closing costs, with about a third going to the individual telemarketers who sold the timeshare resale services to the consumer and the balance kept by the owners of the telemarketing company.
Between October 5, 2007 and approximately December 1, 2009, UMS and CVS collected approximately $30 million and victimized approximately 22,219 consumers in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; all ten Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territory of Canada. UMS and CVS victimized at least 54 consumers in at least twenty eight (28) of the thirty eight (38) counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois.
Universal Marketing Solutions (“UMS”) was the initial name under which the timeshare resale scheme operated. UMS was a registered fictitious name of Hicks, Inc, which was incorporated in 2006 and was located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The owners of Hicks, Incorporated, were Matthew Hicks, deceased, who was the boyfriend of Jennifer Kirk, and Jennifer Kirk. Hicks was the President and Jennifer Kirk was the Vice President. Hicks, Inc, was dissolved in 2009. Creative Vacation Solutions (“CVS”) became the business name under which the scheme operated after Universal Marketing Solutions had lost or was in the process of losing its credit card merchant accounts. Creative Vacation Solutions was a Florida Corporation based in Palm Beach County, Florida and formed in 2008 ostensibly by S.K., its ostensible owner, the brother of Jennifer Kirk. In fact, the company was owned and operated by Jennifer Kirk.
UMS and CVS had several sales offices located in south Florida including offices at West Palm Beach, Belvedere, Boca Raton, Okeechobee, Green Acres and Lake Worth. Some of these offices resembled franchise operations in that they were owned and operated by others, but used the same business name, the same sales pitches and collected money through common credit card merchant accounts.
At some point during the scheme’s operation, Egan became Jennifer Kirk’s assistant.