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The Details of the Michael J. Ferrari Timeshare Scam

People who planned on enjoying a wonderful getaway courtesy of Michael J. Ferrari have been sorely disappointed. At only 27 years old, Ferrari, along with several co-conspirators, scammed people out of millions of dollars for timeshare services that were never actually provided. With at least six boiler rooms that were being run under the name International Resort Solutions, Ferrari and others masterminded their scam through the use of telemarketing.

Between 2009 and 2010, thousands of victims from the United States and Canada fell prey to Ferrari's scam as he and his crew managed to obtain at least $3.3 million dollars in advance payment for timeshares that were never provided to clients. Ferrari was the brains behind the operation and will spend at least five years in prison for his actions. He was sentenced on July 31 for fraud to a prison term of five years and three months in a federal court; he will actually begin serving his sentence in September.

Ferrari was easy to trust. He came from an upstanding background with a retired police officer for a father. There were high expectations for the man, but he let everyone down -- especially the customers involved in his boiler room scam. A boiler room scam refers to a telemarketing racket that manipulates customers into buying something through overly persuasive methods and then never delivers the promised product or service. People thought they would be living the high life in a beautiful timeshare with all the amenities in the dream location of West Palm Beach. Instead, they ended up with empty pockets and broken dreams.

A total of ten people were sentenced for their involvement for Ferrari's scam. As the ringleader, he attempted to defend himself by referring to the bad economy, claiming everyone had to find a way to get by. He also claimed to have a drinking problem which led to poor decision making. However, the court clearly had no sympathy for Ferrari or his excuses. His dishonesty was extended to everyone who worked in his telemarketing locations. All employees connected admitted knowing that they were not being truthful with clients.

Public opinion does not lie with Ferrari or his cohorts. In fact, many citizens have expressed the opinion that Ferrari should have received a harsher sentence for the amount of damage that was done. The average person involved in minor theft would probably receive a harsher penalty in most cases. Regardless, he will serve his time. According to his lawyer, it is unfortunate, with his talent and savvy, that he did not make an effort to be successful in some type of legitimate sales.

What people noted most concerning Ferrari was his pleasant personality. His charm and personal likeability went a long way in helping him swindle many people out of their hard-earned money. However, particularly in a time when people are feeling the strain of the economy, they are not forgiving about being scammed. Anyone who is interested in timeshare rentals and purchases should learn from this particular case. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau and thoroughly research all companies before purchasing from them.

Next: Breckenridge Peak 8 Timeshare Construction Receives Preliminary Approval

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