Williamsburg attorney accused in $1.3 million timeshare scheme

Posted at 6:37 PM, Oct 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-17 06:24:09-04

Williamsburg, Va. - A 43-year-old Williamsburg attorney was indicted for her alleged involvement in a $1.3 million timeshare scheme. She faces 20 years behind bars.

Deborah M. Wagner has been charged with participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in addition to mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Officials say thousands of timeshare units were transferred into the names of stolen identities and straw owners.

Documents say Wagner was not alone in this scheme. They say the other participants included Keith Kosco, Julie Duffield, Brendan Hawkins and others.

They say Kosco owned several travel and tourism entities including Resort Realty, Resort Solutions, and Exotic Equity Transfers.

Hawkins owned Goodbye Timeshares.

In 2013, Wagner's firm took over the transfer of paperwork that was once handled by EET.

Officials say from 2009 to 2013, Kosco, Duffield and Hawkins conducted fraudulent transfers of over 1,000 timeshare units into the names of stolen identities.

They collected money for doing the transfers from the original owners.

Officials say none of the straw buyers/stolen identities paid the required taxes on the timeshare units which resulted in the $1.3 million in losses to resorts for the unpaid fees.

Documents say this group made false statements and promises to resorts, they created fake email accounts, bank accounts and tax returns for the stolen identities.

For those affected in this scheme, their credit ratings were severely damaged.

Duffield pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 26 months behind bars.  He also has to pay restitution with Kosco of $740,000.

Kosco also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 74 months.

In a related case, Hawkins pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 months and he has to pay more than $500,000 in restitution.

In July, 2017 Wagner was sentenced to just over five years behind bars.