Mastermind behind timeshare scam heads to jail - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mastermind behind timeshare scam heads to jail

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - When the economy turned south several years ago, it was a crime that targeted some of the most vulnerable -- people facing big losses if they didn't find a buyer and quick.

Now, a follow up to a timeshare scam that was headquartered in Palm Beach County.

Here's how it worked: Telemarketers would print up listings for timeshares. They would call the seller and tell them, 'Great news, we have a buyer for you'. All the telemarketer needed was a little up front money, a $1,000 or so, and the closing date would be imminent

But the closing date never came.

Now, investigators say, the mastermind of one such operation is headed to jail.

Jennifer Kirk is the 31-year-old telemarketing executive who, police say, was behind Creative Vacation Solutions.

When the Fox 29 investigators first heard about Creative Vacation Solutions, the company was under fire by it's own employees.

"I need my money. I got a daughter at home I'm trying to feed. I didn't get paid for three weeks straight," said a man we met in 2009. He wouldn't let us show his face, but he showed up outside Creative Vacation Solutions on Woodlake Boulevard in Greenacres demanding his paycheck.

Creative Vacation Solutions was supposed to be a timeshare marketing company. Online, it claimed to help distressed timeshare sellers. But, according to insiders, they say, "all of it's a lie. You ain't never gonna get your money back".

State investigators, with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said so many complaints were coming in on Creative Vacation Solutions and other timeshare marketers, their investigators couldn't keep up.

Our investigative team couldn't keep up either. Victims from all across the country called to tell us the up front money they paid the timeshare marketers never, not even once, netted a single sale.

We then tried tracking the business. Back then, the BBB gave Creative Vacation Solutions an "F".

We also found the business was ordered to pay $17,000 in fines for things like "employing unregistered sales agents" and "using unapproved telemarketing scripts".

We tried calling the owner; however, no-one called us back. So we stopped by the company's headquarters in downtown West Palm Beach, but these emloyees only answer the phones here for several companies.

They told us the Flagler Drive office space only served as a mail drop for Creative Vacation Solutions.

But police have finally caught up with Creative Vacation Solution's owner Jennifer Kirk.

Now, a judge has too. The former South Florida telemarketing executive has just been given a 15 year prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Kirk allegedly owned several of these timeshare companies -- all of them were based in Palm Beach County. They victimized thousands of consumers for more than $30 million.

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