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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

FTC coordinates multi-state lawsuit against Wash. timeshare resellers

By Bryan Cohen | Jun 7, 2013

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) -- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday a multi-state lawsuit against an Olympia-based couple who allegedly engaged in unlawful conduct related to timeshare reselling.

The lawsuit against Jonathan and Christine Gibbs is part of a joint multi-state, multi-national law enforcement initiative coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission. The defendants allegedly handled more than 30,000 timeshare transfers.

Ferguson's announcement coincided with more than 80 civil actions by the FTC and civil actions filed by more than 27 states.

The matter also involves criminal prosecutions brought by U.S. attorneys nationwide and actions by international law enforcement agencies in seven countries.

"If you don't play by the rules, we'll hold you accountable," Ferguson said in a statement. "This large, complex scheme involved unfair and deceptive business practices that harmed hundreds of victims locally and thousands nationwide."

Jonathan and Christine Gibbs allegedly offered to transfer timeshare ownership from owners who no longer wished to own their timeshares. The couple allegedly facilitated a transfer but failed to pay the underlying maintenance or obligation on the properties. They allegedly failed to execute transfers properly, transferred timeshares to their own businesses or paid people to put their signatures on title documents.

Consumers in timeshare reseller schemes can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in fake closing costs and unsold properties.

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