In Nashville, USA, details have emerged of a timeshare lawyer scam in which legal services were never delivered. Castle Law Group PC was sued in June 2017 for false and misleading advertising and for taking money in exchange for no service.
It seems that the defendants canvassed timeshare owners, telling them that they had been the victim of ‘timeshare fraud’ by Orange Lake Country Club in Kissimmee, Florida, which employs 3,000 people to develop, finance, and manage timeshare properties.
It is Orange Lake itself which raised the lawsuit. According to Orange Lake’s complaint, the scheme allegedly involved two men operating under the guise of a capital investment firm named Castle Venture Group LLC. It is alleged that funds were given to Castle Marketing Group LLC, in order to fraudulently solicit business for an attorney named Judson Phillips who worked for Castle Law Group, owned by Keever.
Phillips was a former Tennessee assistant district attorney who is strongly involved in the Tea Party, the Conservative US political movement within the Republican Party. A separate company involved in the lawsuit, Resort Relief LLC, is allegedly responsible for using fraudulent and deceptive advertising, and direct phone calls, to keep victims using Castle Law’s services.
Castle Law Group claimed to employ “lawyers and legal support staff”. However, it is alleged that the people dealing with the victims were not, in fact, lawyers at all.
The fraudsters claimed that they would help timeshare holders to negotiate a full and final settlement agreement to cancel their timeshare contracts and debt. Victims were convinced to default on their mortgages and promissory notes with Orange Lake so that the company could buy their timeshare interests.
The company offered a one-year or eighteen-month guarantee on getting the victims’ cases resolved. After this period, victims were told that the contracts were indeed cancelled, and that Castle was just waiting for paperwork from the developer in order to finalise the case. If you’ve read some of our other posts, you’ll have already guessed what comes next…
Turns out, Castle Law was mostly unsuccessful in getting the contracts cancelled with the developers, despite taking a $7,500 retainer fee.
The case is raised under violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and the prosecution demands a permanent injunction against the defendants on all charges, including the award of costs and legal fees. The case is still live at the time of writing. We will update you with any interesting developments.
What this story goes to show is that you must take care when choosing a company to handle
your case. Much to our frustration and disappointment, we are seeing more scams from an abundant amount of ‘legal’ firms that are popping up with the only intention to scam innocent people out of their money. Especially when there are legitimate, hard-working timeshare legal firms like ours seeking to do the very best for our clients. Seeing timeshare ‘legal’ firm scams further cheating timeshare holders who may have already been swindled once, is very upsetting to us.
Make sure you choose wisely when selecting a timeshare legal firm to handle your case. Finding a company that you can trust, and who has your best interests at heart, is key to ensuring a smooth and stress-free release from timeshare. You can count on us to help you in your time of need, so do get in touch if you feel you need any assistance.