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13 EMPLOYEES AT A RESALE FIRM GET CHARGED WITH FRAUD

Each of the workers admitted to regularly lying to their customers while pressuring them to
spend thousands of dollars to get their property sold, the newspaper reports.

According to The Sun Sentinel, the clients were being asked to spend as much as $10,000 up
front, after being told by the telemarketers that the firm had lined up buyers for their timeshares.
Court records indicate that the clients were told the money was an “administrative fee” that
would be refunded later.

But according to federal authorities who made the arrests, those so-called “buyers” did not exist.

During the court proceedings, Timeshare Mega Media was described by prosecutors as a "naked
fraud." It was also a company being operated by two convicted felons, who managed to turn their
fraud into a highly successful operation, taking in $5 million in less than a year, according to the
Federal Trade Commission.

The Sun Sentinel reported that FBI agents raided the company's office in East Oakland Park
Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale in July 2010, and a few months later the FTC filed a lawsuit
against Timeshare Mega Media.

So far, The Sun Sentinel reports, prosecutors have only gone after the firm’s low-level
employees, and 15 have been arrested in the last six months, with 13 subsequently pleading
guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

The fraud charges can carry up to five years in prison for the telemarketers, who are awaiting
sentencing.

The 14th employee is now trying to cut a plea deal, while the last employee died two months
ago.

As of November, the FBI was still reporting that the investigation into Timeshare Mega Media
was ongoing. That investigation is now targeting one of the men who allegedly masterminded
the entire operation: Pasquale "Posh" Pappalardo, 59, who served more than six years in federal
prison in the mid-1990s on drug, firearms and counterfeit money charges.

FTC officials are alleging that Pappalardo founded the company with Joseph "Joey" Crapella,
45, who spent nearly eight years in a Florida prison after being convicted in 2000 of racketeering
and grand theft in a scheme involving the sale and stocking of vending machines..



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