Craig R. Malton, 35, was sentenced on March 4, 2016, to serve 44 months in federal prison for his role in a timeshare fraud conspiracy and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,843,672.00. He was charged on March 27, 2013, as being part of the Freeman timeshare resale fraud conspiracy and he was arrested two years later when he attempted to enter the United States from Mexico at the Arizona border. Malton was originally a database administrator and programmer for the Freeman conspiracy, but he admitted in a sentencing memorandum that he eventually defrauded timeshare owners as well. As Malton’s lawyer wrote:
Mr. Malton was set up with a desk in the call center area of the office and he began to observe the operation of the company. He observed that a group of employees called Lead Generators would reach out to time share owners to see if they were interested in selling their properties. If the owners were interested in selling, they would be passed over to another smaller group of employees called Closers. The Closer would explain how the process worked to the owner and would begin to collect a series of fees from the owner. The fees were represented to be fully refundable upon the closing of the sale. Mr. Malton observed that the Closers repeatedly reached out to timeshare owners for more and more fees and “taxes.” He also noticed that no purchase of any timeshare ever seemed to close, and no timeshares were being sold by the company. This is when Mr. Malton began to understand that the business was not a legitimate real estate concern, but a fraud.
On February 11, 2016, Malton’s co-defendant Gilbert Brett Freeman was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $4,867,553.00. He has filed a notice that he intends to appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.