Friday, May 31, 2013

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Attorney General Abbott Secures Asset Freeze, Temporary Injunction against Couple Charged with Scamming Timeshare Contract Customers

DALLAS – A state district court in Dallas issued a temporary injunction and maintained an ongoing asset freeze against a local firm charged with defrauding timeshare customers.

The court’s order stemmed from an enforcement action filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, which named Charles H. Williams II, his wife, Glenda Williams, and their firm Legal Advocate for the Consumer as defendants. Also named in the State’s legal action was Advocate for the Consumer (Mediation) LLC and Charles Williams’ aliases, Chip Townsend and Charles Robertson.

Media links
Attorney General's lawsuit against Legal Advocate for the Consumer
Temporary restraining issued against Legal Advocate for the Consumer

According to state investigators, Charles Williams used several aliases and fabricated portraits in various states to advertise his “mediation” services. Williams represented that he had access to licensed attorneys who were able to represent clients’ interests in abolishing onerous timeshare payment obligations and contracts.

After accepting clients’ payment of $1,500 to initiate the process, the defendants promised to use their legal skills to void the timeshare contracts, obtain refunds for the clients and protect the clients’ credit ratings.

The State’s investigation revealed that to convince clients of the firm’s legitimacy, the defendants used fake forms designed to give the impression that the firm would be contacting timeshare brokers and negotiating refunds. In reality, the defendants never followed up with any contact or mediation. Instead, they retained clients’ advance fees and never provided refunds.

Investigators also found that the defendants’ website falsely claimed that the firm would “initiate and maintain communication with the applicable regulatory and governing agencies to effectuate a resolution.” Further, the defendants suggested that they work closely with the Texas Attorney General’s Office and other agencies on proper contract cancellations. Such statements misled customers that the defendants’ conduct was a collaborative process under the protection of government agencies.