Williamsburg lawyer pleads guilty in timeshare scheme

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A Williamsburg lawyer could spend up to 20 years in a federal prison for participating in a timeshare scheme. easterndistrictvirginia

Deborah Wagner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud on Sept. 9 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Newport News location.

Wagner could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She may also have to pay restitution and will have to forfeit any assets tied to the scheme, according to documents filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Wagner was a partner at Wagner & Hyman, located on Jamestown Road. Prosecutors believe she used the law firm as a front to conduct the scheme from 2011 to 2013.

Other businesses were involved, including Exotic Equity Transfers, LLC and GoodBye Timeshare LLC, according to court documents.

Wagner, and others, obtained timeshare units and transferred them into the names of straw owners. Straw owners are people who don’t want to reveal their identities and have no stake in the property, court documents state.

Prosecutors believe they collected transferring fees from the original timeshare owners, keeping the money for themselves instead of giving it to the straw owners.

Co-conspirator Brendan Hawkins was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in December 2014. He was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison in April 2015 and to pay $546,904 in restitution to 19 resorts he scammed.

Julie Duffield, from Montana, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in January 2015. She will pay $738,438 in restitution.

Another man, Keith Kosco, of Williamsburg, pleaded guilty in March 2015 to fraudulently transferring more than 1,000 timeshares into the names of people whose identities were stolen. He was sentenced to 74 months in prison in July 2015.

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