Pinellas Men Face Federal Prison in Timeshare Scam
The U.S. attorney says the two conspired with others to take money from owners who wanted to sell their timeshare or other properties.
TAMPA – Two Pinellas County men were sentenced to federal prison for their part in a timeshare scam that victimized property owners across the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Ronald Carapellucci, 51, of Clearwater, was sentenced to six years in federal prison. Manuel Parrado, 47, of St. Petersburg, was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison for their participation in a property-sale fraud scheme. Carapellucci and Parrado pleaded guilty in July.
According to court records, from 2015 through at least 2018, Carapellucci and Parrado conspired with others to take money from victims throughout the U.S. who wanted to sell their timeshare or other properties.
Carapellucci, Parrado, and other conspirators placed telephone calls to these victims impersonating attorneys and real estate professionals. They misled the timeshare owners into believing that the conspirators had identified buyers for the victims’ timeshares and other properties.
The conspirators further told the victims that the timeshare and property sales could be consummated if the victims made one or more advanced payments to the conspirators for various fees purportedly associated with the sales, such as closing costs, courier services, title searches, transfer fees, and legal fees.
Once the victims agreed to pay the bogus fees, the conspirators directed the victims to send funds via wire transfers to one of the conspirators. That conspirator then withdrew the fraud proceeds and shared them with the others, based upon each conspirator’s role in the fraudulent transaction.
The conspirators often repeatedly re-contacted their victims and fraudulently advised them that additional fees were needed in order to complete the sales, and they continued to dupe the victims into sending bogus advance fees until the victims either ran out of money or became aware of the scam.
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