A 60-year-old Las Vegas man was sentenced Monday to 20 months in prison for a telemarketing scheme that defrauded more than 1,000 people out of about $780,000.
Michael Kroger previously plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the scheme, which targeted timeshare owners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey sentenced Kroger to federal prison and ordered him to pay about $212,400 in restitution.
Dorsey noted during the sentencing that Kroger “showed no remorse for his crimes’ financial and emotional impact,” the attorney’s office said in a release.
The timeshare scheme ran from about 2000 to 2010 among two or more people, and Kroger joined the conspiracy in 2004, the attorney’s office said. Korger and co-conspirator Michele Paonessa created fake companies and contracts, meant to lure victims seeking to sell timeshare ownerships who would pay a fee to process the fake documents and cover closings costs.
Paonessa, who has plead guilty in the case, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20. Paonessa faces the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison with a fine of $250,000.
About 29 fake companies were used in the scheme, during which no timeshare ownerships were actually sold. The victims lived in multiple states, including Nevada, and in Canada, the attorney’s office said.
The Henderson Police Department helped investigate the case along with the U.S. Secret Service and the Southwestern Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force, the attorney’s office said.