Bryan Cohen Mar. 7, 2013, 6:48pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed lawsuits Wednesday against four Central Florida timeshare resale companies for allegedly engaging in deceptive and unfair trade practices.

Travel Buy Owner/CFL Ventures, International Timeshare Exchange/Network, Access Travel Network Inc. and A1 Marketing Unlimited allegedly acted as telemarketers and used false promises to entice consumers to pay between $400 and $2,500 in upfront fees for advertising services to rent or sell their timeshares. The companies allegedly never rendered the services they charged the consumers for.

Bondi's office obtained immediate orders enjoining Travel Buy Owner/CFL Ventures, International Timeshare Exchange Network and the companies' owners from operating businesses and participating in further timeshare resale activities. Bondi also obtained orders to freeze the assets of the companies to preserve the assets for future consumer restitution.

"Making false promises and charging up-front fees for timeshare resales are blatant violations of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act," Bondi said. "Floridians should report this activity to my office immediately."

The lawsuits against Access Travel Network Inc. and A1 Marketing Unlimited also seek court orders to prohibit the companies from violating state law and require the companies to pay restitution to consumers and civil penalties of up to $15,000 per violation.

The four companies alleged deceptive practices include making false representations to consumers that they would sell their timeshares within a short time period, falsely claiming to have buyers waiting with approved financing, offering full refunds for their services without actually providing the refunds, making misrepresentations of the contract terms and charging consumers' credit cards or cashing consumers' checks without getting a signed written contract from the consumer.

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