Diamond Resorts®, a global leader in the hospitality, vacation ownership and entertainment industries, has filed a lawsuit against a ring of so-called timeshare “exit” companies for allegations of fraudulent business practices and false advertising. The 13 defendants are based in Florida and Nevada and include Timeshare Freedom Group, Jordan Salkin, Shayna Schroeder, John E. Mortimer, Frank Silva, Harold O. Miller, Michael A. Molfetta and William Saliba. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants use false and misleading advertising to convince timeshare owners to stop making payments on their timeshare contracts, while charging the unsuspecting victims thousands — sometimes tens of thousands — of dollars in upfront fees in exchange for no legitimate service.
The Diamond Resorts complaint outlines how these Defendants falsely present their timeshare exit services as a “legal” solution. This lie is supported by the use of lawyers and “law firms” to inaccurately suggest the active involvement of a licensed attorney. However, according to the lawsuit, the “exit” services offered by these companies amount to nothing more than instructing timeshare owners to cease making payments. These companies do not deliver on their promises to help timeshare owners out of their contracts, but instead charge thousands of dollars to drive owners into financial jeopardy and foreclosure, according to the lawsuit.
An Elaborate Ring Designed to Deceive
Diamond Resorts is warning its owners not only about the illusory services offered by these companies, but also about the deceptive way in which they collaborate to mislead and profit off of timeshare owners. According to the lawsuit, the timeshare cancellation ring operates as follows:
- Nevada-based Timeshare Freedom Group purports to provide timeshare cancellation services and is owned and operated by defendant Jordan Salkin. Timeshare Freedom Group promotes several of the Defendants’ “legal” cancellation “process” as part of false and misleading advertising targeted at timeshare owners. Timeshare Freedom Group then splits the large upfront fees it receives from deceiving timeshare owners with the other Defendants.
- The owner of Timeshare Freedom Group, Jordan Salkin, currently refers timeshare customers to Michael A. Molfetta, attorney for Jordan Salkin in an unrelated criminal matter.
- Defendant Michael A. Molfetta, a criminal defense attorney in California, has represented Salkin as his attorney in the criminal cases. Molfetta and his law firm, Molfetta Law, also play a major role in the timeshare cancellation scheme by either sending perfunctory letters of representation, or allowing his name and signature to be used for such letters sent by the other defendants, to Diamond on behalf of numerous unsuspecting owners.
- Defendant John Mortimer operates the timeshare exit business d/b/a Middle Earth Sales and Service and Middle Earth Ltd. Mortimer is one of the key operators of the Defendants’ scheme and handles “referrals” to the “law firms” that are used to create the false appearance of a “legal process.” According to Diamond’s lawsuit, however, the work is done by people who are not lawyers, such as Mortimer himself, and the attorneys involved fail to provide their clients with adequate representation.
- William Saliba, yet another attorney involved in the scheme, who was the sole officer of Solomon Cross, a Florida corporation with a principal place of business in Lake Worth, Florida until it was dissolved by Saliba in January 2020. Although Solomon Cross was not a law firm, it presented itself as one in communications with timeshare developers on behalf of timeshare owners referred to it through Defendants’ scheme.
Diamond Resorts reminds its owners that Attorneys General are also warning consumers and working to stop the deceptive acts of these so-called timeshare “exit” companies. In addition to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a lawsuit against Brian Scroggs and the following timeshare exit companies under his control: Vacation Consulting Services LLC, VCS Communications, LLC, The Transfer Group, LLC, and Real Travel LLC, as well as a lawsuit against Martin Management. In 2019, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Brian Scroggs, Bart Bowe and their company Real Travel LLC for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Numerous other agencies have also warned consumers about timeshare cancellation companies, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Diamond Resorts encourages timeshare owners who may be interested in adjusting their contracts to contact their developer for options. To learn more about red flags and report possible fraudulent third-party exit activity, visit TimeshareCancellationAwareness.com or ResponsibleExit.com.
About Diamond Resorts
Diamond Resorts® offers destinations, events and experiences to help members make a habit of breaking from the routine. From unforgettable getaways to exclusive concert series to VIP receptions and dinners, members turn to Diamond to recharge, reconnect and remind each other what matters most. Our focus on quality resorts, customer service and flexibility means members can return to a favorite resort, book a cruise to explore new countries or attend a once-in-a-lifetime event with the same level of confidence and anticipation. With access to a world of entertainment and activities, a Diamond membership ensures that people are always looking forward to vacation.