Friday, May 31, 2013
|Attorney General's lawsuit against Legal Advocate for the Consumer|
|Temporary restraining issued against Legal Advocate for the Consumer|
According to state investigators, Charles Williams used several aliases and fabricated portraits in various states to advertise his mediation services. Williams represented that he had access to licensed attorneys who were able to represent clients’ interests in abolishing onerous timeshare payment obligations and contracts.
After accepting clients’ payment of $1,500 to initiate the process, the defendants promised to use their legal skills to void the timeshare contracts, obtain refunds for the clients and protect the clients’ credit ratings.
The State’s investigation revealed that to convince clients of the firm’s legitimacy, the defendants used fake forms designed to give the impression that the firm would be contacting timeshare brokers and negotiating refunds. In reality, the defendants never followed up with any contact or mediation. Instead, they retained clients’ advance fees and never provided refunds.
Investigators also found that the defendants’ website falsely claimed that the firm would initiate and maintain communication with the applicable regulatory and governing agencies to effectuate a resolution. Further, the defendants suggested that they work closely with the Texas Attorney General’s Office and other agencies on proper contract cancellations. Such statements misled customers that the defendants’ conduct was a collaborative process under the protection of government agencies.