January 22, 2016
All victims were over 60 years of age
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Alan Rodrigues, 56, Jonas Bowen, 62, Larry Smith, 43, William Harper, 62, Jozsef Mate, 73 and Tracy Jones, 54, were indicted by the Clark County Grand Jury on 15 counts of theft and one count of multiple transactions involving fraud or deceit. The six defendants were indicted for multiple felonies related to a timeshare fraud scam that defrauded more than 15 victims. The theft counts also allege that the victims were over the age of 60, carrying an additional penalty. The scam was operated between August 2013 and July 2014.
According to the indictment, the defendants are accused of operating a business known as World Travel Access that would target timeshare owners eager to sell their timeshares. The company would typically invite victims to a presentation, during which time the defendants would explain the process of transferring timeshare ownership. Victims would be charged thousands of dollars for the purported transfer of their timeshare to World Travel Access, when in fact, the transfers never took place. Most victims were not aware they had fallen victim to a scam until they received bills from their respective timeshare companies for yearly fees.
“These deceptive timeshare resale scams targeting our elderly population can cost victims thousands of dollars, and are especially devastating to our vulnerable seniors,” said Laxalt. “I encourage Nevadans to be skeptical of paying advance fees for resale services, and to report any suspicious activity to my Office.”
Consumers should be skeptical of any caller purporting to be a timeshare re-seller or businesses that require large up-front fees. Legitimate brokers do not cold call owners or ask for up-front fees.
The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before the Eighth Judicial District Court on February 8, 2016. An indictment is merely a charging document; every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General, and is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Daniel Westmeyer and Amy Steelman.
To read the criminal indictments for Alan Rodrigues, Jonas Bowen, Larry Smith, William Harper, Jozsef Mate and Tracy Jones, click on their respective links. To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing a fraud, click here.