CAMDEN, N.J. – An Absecon, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for his role in a $3 million conspiracy to scam customers by offering phony consulting services to owners of timeshares through the New Jersey-based Vacation Ownership Group LLC, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Ian Resnick, 41, was previously convicted in September 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. He was convicted following a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman, who imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:
Resnick and his codefendants schemed to defraud hundreds of timeshare owners by offering fraudulent consulting services through their company, the Vacation Ownership Group (now VO Financial). Adam Lacerda, 32, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, the company founder, president and chief executive officer, devised the company’s fraudulent sales pitches. He directed his sales force to tell numerous lies to VO customers, including that VO worked with the banks holding the customers’ loans, would use money sent by customers to pay off the customers’ loans on their timeshares, and could cancel customers’ timeshares with money back.
His wife, Ashley Lacerda, 36, the company vice president and chief operating officer, sent fraudulent contracts to customers and managed the office. Resnick, a convicted bank robber, started as a salesman giving the fraudulent sales pitch but became Adam Lacerda’s enforcer, with the title “director of compliance.” Genevieve Manzoni, 50, of Lake Worth, Florida, was a top VO sales representative who falsely told one victim she worked with a bank, another victim that she worked with a timeshare developer.
All four defendants were convicted at the same trial. The 14 victims who testified – including business executives, veterans, senior citizens, a lawyer and a professor – were defrauded out of tens of thousands of dollars by the defendants’ sophisticated scheme.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Resnick to three years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined at a later date.
Adam Lacerda was sentenced to 27 years in prison on June 25, 2015. Ashley Lacerda is scheduled to be sentenced June 3, 2016; Manzoni was sentenced in December 2015 to 42 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; and special agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone, New York Region, for the investigation. He also thanked the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Ian Resnick: Michael E. Reilly Esq., Philadelphia
Adam Lacerda: Mark E. Cedrone Esq., Philadelphia
Ashley Lacerda: Charles Nugent Esq., Marlton, New Jersey
Genevieve Manzoni: Ralph A. Jacobs Esq., Philadelphia