• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Florida Timeshare Appraisals

Status
Not open for further replies.

Paul Ness MAI

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Last night I saw a blurb on CNN about someone in Florida being sentenced in a $15 mill phony time share appraisal case. Does anyone have any more info on this? Can any of our Florida Forumites point me to a www page for a local news article?
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I watched a trainee appraiser have his license revoked to doing a huge number of time share appraisals for Century 21 with no supervisor (and either not knowing a damn thing about what he was doing or dumb as a fox) Wish I had caught that CNN spot. As far as I know, Century 21 never stopped their unethical/illegal practices regarding time shares. The whole time share thing here is loaded with fraud - hopefully, they will drown in it.
 

Paul Ness MAI

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
It was one of those little 2-line blurbs at the bottom of the screen that stays on for 5 seconds. I searched CNN's web site and found nothing.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
The fact that someone would actually pay for an appraisal for a time-share, let alone pay a significant amount for a time share is amazing to me. These things have very little actual value unless they are on a particular date (Mardis Gras in New Orleans, etc).

ROger
 

Red Blumenstock

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Hi Paul,

I didn't see that, but in yesterday's Daytona Beach News Journal newspaper was an article "Florida Man who led a telemarketing scheme that defrauded 38,000 people out of $15.4 million by selling phony appraisals to time-share owners has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Donald L. Gonczy, 68, of Hillsboro Beach, in Broward County, was also fined $142,000 -- all of the assets in his Austrian Bank Account.

As part of his sentence handed out Monday in U. S. District Court, he was barred from any future employment involving sales. Gonczy pleaded guilty after the first week of his trial in June.

Seven other people, including Gonczy's children and his son-in-law, have already been convicted for participating in the scheme, prosecutors said.

Two otheres who were indicted, Vincent Corey and Edward Loney, are fugitives.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Gonczy and conspirators established a network of more than a dozen companies designed to persuade time-share owners who were interested in selling their time shares to buy a $399 'appraisal.'

Bank records presented during the trial showed that $15.4 million in fraudulent appraisals were sold to approximately 38,000 time-share owners located throughout the country."

$15.4 million gets a $142,000 fine???? :evil:

Red
 

Paul Ness MAI

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
That's the story. Thanks Red. I can't believe he found 38,000 people willing to pay $399 for an "appraisal" of property selling for only maybe $10,000-$20,000. I guess he found enough suckers.

I own a vacant lot in Suwannee County near Branford and was solicited a few years ago by a company (I think from Texas) offering an appraisal for $99 because they were coming through the area and sort of "mass" appraising all these vacant lots that Florida is so famous for. Don't know if it was on the up-and-up, but the brochure said "USPAP" compliant. I was tempted to order one out of professional curiosity buy my wife said don't waste the money. I guess that's what wives are for.
 

Paul Ness MAI

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Here's excerpts from a detailed article. Evidently they were arrested a year ago, and recently sentenced. I did a www search for "Gonczy".

http://www.thetimesharebeat.com/archives/2.../ts/tsoct58.htm

Ten Indicted In $12 Million Timeshare Appraisal Telemarketing Fraud Scheme, Reports U.S. Attorney

BOSTON, MA -- Four Massachusetts residents and six Florida men have been named in a fifty-count indictment for running an appraisal fraud scam and money laundering operation that in a four year period defrauded in excess of $12 million from approximately 20,000 victims nationwide.

According to the indictment, the scheme operated through a series of steps. First, the defendants had established a number of purported Buying Companies based in Florida and Texas which would contact timeshare owners and make a host of misrepresentations, including that they would buy their timeshare if the owner obtained an appraisal and that they would reimburse the owner for the appraisal fee at the time of closing.

Once the Buying Company had gotten a timeshare owner interested in obtaining an appraisal to sell their timeshare, the Buying Company then referred the timeshare owner to a purportedly independent service, Multi-State Listing Service (``MLS'') -- a second boiler room, which would put the timeshare owner in touch with independent and approved appraisal companies. The Buying Companies falsely claimed that they received no fees from the appraisal companies and had no part in the appraisal process.

The indictment alleges that in the second phase of the scheme, MLS would provide the timeshare owner with a list of three to four ``independent'' appraisal companies supposedly with personnel in the area of that person's timeshare. According to the indictment, every one of these appraisal companies was part of this scheme. The appraisal companies, the indictment alleges, were opened for the sole purpose of executing this scheme and were run by GONCZY's children, his friends, or former telemarketers from the boiler rooms involved in the scheme.
The indictment alleges that after speaking with an MLS representative, the timeshare owner was next contacted by a third boiler room operation. These telemarketers, according to the indictment, falsely represented that they were actually calling from the appraisal company the timeshare owner had selected. In this call, the timeshare owner was coaxed, through additional misrepresentations, into providing his or her credit card number, the indictment alleges. At this point, the timeshare owner was then billed for the appraisal.

The indictment alleges that the next step in the scheme was that roughly eight weeks later, the appraisal companies would mail the timeshare owner a bogus two-page ``appraisal'' that falsely represented that the timeshare had been inspected as part of the appraisal process. According to the indictment, these reports were simply printed off a database at a total cost to the appraisal companies of roughly $25 each, which included a $5-$10 payment to the person who signed the report, falsely verifying the purported inspection. The appraisal report issued by these purportedly ``independent'' companies, spread out across the United States, had virtually identical formats and standard language and often contained the same typos.
 

Doug in NC

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
All's I can say is good, I'm glad to see any crook get nailed. Sadly, we have seen that cheating for profits isn't just limited to our industry. It makes me sick that while some of us work hard and try to keep up with all the rules, there are some who get away with taking short cuts and scamming their way to prosperity.

A desperate homeowner called me today to order an appraisal (apparently someone had already told him his property was currently worth only about $171,000 +/-). A year ago (someone hired by the same big bank) had appraised the home at $195,000!!! The market now may be a little worse, but values haven't gone down that much. Unfortunately for Mr. homeowner is that he has mortgaged his home for more than it is currently worth.

If the economy doesn't rebound soon, we may be headed for round 2 of the S & L Bailout. Nope, Congress didn't learn the first time, neither did the banks and FNMA. If they could figure out a way to keep lenders from applying so much pressure to appraisers, maybe the system would work. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be one of their priorities.

Side note: I have been working for a broker for a few months now. The first appraisal came in $2,000 below the value needed. Oddly, orders immediately stopped coming in from that lender. A good example of reality in the day-to-day world or real estate appraisal.
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
To All;

interesting article - Lets see we have; Misrepresentation; Fraud; Interstate Fraud; Mail Fraud; Misleading & Bogus Companies; and as Appraisals go, major violations of USPAP; State & Federal Law. Will have to agree with Red, $15.4 Mil gross and a $142,000 fine :cry:

who said crime doesn't pay 8O

8)
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
But J, don't you realize they took ALL of the cash they had in the bank?? Come on, the other 15.2 mil went back into the economy. They helped man.... they bought houses, cars, boats, vacations, women.....

where is my puking emoticon??
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks