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Press Release

Springfield Man Indicted for Timeshare Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Also Charged with Failing to Pay $333,000 in Employment Taxes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., business owner has been indicted by a federal grand jury for a timeshare fraud scheme as well as for failing to pay more than $333,000 in federal taxes withheld from his employees’ paychecks.

Brian Scroggs, 52, was charged in a six-count indictment returned on May 14, 2024, by a federal grand jury in Springfield.

Scroggs was the owner of several businesses that focused on various aspects of the timeshare exit industry. These businesses claimed to provide a service that would get prospective clients out of their timeshare contracts.

Scroggs owned Vacation Consulting Services, LLC, and The Transfer Group, LLC, both located in Springfield, from 2014 through February 2019. Scroggs also began operating Real Travel, LLC, on June 5, 2018. Although Real Travel was registered in the state of Arkansas, it conducted business from the Vacation Consulting Services office and utilized the same employees, so by all intents and purposes, was actually Vacation Consulting Services operating under a different business name.

According to the indictment, Scroggs employed sales teams who traveled the country hosting seminars during which Vacation Consulting Services / Real Travel presented to timeshare owners they could get them out of their timeshare contracts for a fee. If they failed to get their clients out of their timeshare contracts within a year, they claimed, they would either buy their clients’ timeshare contracts or refund the fee paid by the clients.

By January 2019, the indictment alleges, Scroggs knew that the timeshare industry was no longer negotiating or working with timeshare exit companies such as Vacation Consulting Services / Real Travel or The Transfer Group to get their timeshare contract holders out of timeshare contracts. Despite knowing that timeshare companies would no longer work with his companies, Scroggs allegedly continued soliciting new clients throughout January 2019 by falsely claiming to be able to get people out of their timeshare contracts.

The federal indictment charges Scroggs with three counts of wire fraud related to three clients who allegedly were defrauded by this scheme. According to the indictment, these clients paid a total of over $32,000 to Scroggs’s companies but were not released from their timeshare agreements and never received a refund.

The indictment also charges Scroggs with three counts of failure to pay over federal employment taxes. Scroggs allegedly failed to pay over to the IRS a total of $333,483 in federal income taxes and FICA taxes that were withheld from his employees’ paychecks for the third and fourth quarters of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.

Updated May 24, 2024

Topics
Financial Fraud
Tax