Williamsburg Lawyer Indicted on Fraud Charges in Timeshare Scheme

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EasternDistrictVirginiaA Williamsburg lawyer was indicted on fraud charges last week in connection to a suspected timeshare scheme, according to a news release from the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Deborah M. Wagner, a 43-year-old lawyer who co-owns the Jamestown Road law firm Wagner & Hyman, was arrested Friday – a day after a grand jury sent the 11 charges against her to trial, the release states.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Wagner and three others are accused of obtaining timeshare units, transferring them to the names of straw owners, then collecting the transfer fees for themselves instead of passing them onto the straw owners, court documents show.

Straw owners are representatives for owners who do not want to reveal their identities but have no stake in the property.

Investigators believe the scheme has been going on from at least 2009 until 2013. Wagner and her firm took over the responsibility of transferring timeshare properties from the original owners to the new ones in 2013, according to court documents.

The scheme is believed to have resulted in more than $1.3 million in losses of unpaid fees for the affected resorts since 2009, the release states.

The three others accused – Julie Duffield of Montana, Brendan Hawkins of Williamsburg and Keith Kosco of Williamsburg – have all pleaded guilty.

Duffield, sentenced to 26 months in prison, and Kosco, sentenced to 74 months in prison, jointly owe more than $740,000 in restitution. Hawkins has been sentenced to 46 months in prison and must pay more than $500,000 in restitution.

Wagner is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

She faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the eight mail and wire fraud charges. She will receive a minimum sentence of 24 months if convicted of the aggravated identity theft charges.

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