Pasquale Pappalardo of Coral Springs, Florida was arrested Thursday after he was accused of operating a multi-million dollar timeshare fraud syndicate, news sources report. Pappalardo, 60, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was later released on a $500,000 bail bond, though a judge order he wear an ankle monitor.
Pappalardo is no stranger to the legal system, sources report. During the 1990’s, Pappalardo served over six years on charges ranging from counterfeiting money to drug and firearm possession. Reports did not provide the details of those previous arrests, but it appears as though Pappalardo has not been in serious trouble with the law for at least a decade.
Prior to the founding of Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group, detectives say Pappalardo worked at Timeshare Market Pro. Pappalardo allegedly acquired timeshare customer’s information from that company. Once he stopped working for Timeshare Market Pro, Pappalardo allegedly operated Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group, two timeshare resale organizations based out of Broward County, along with a business partner. Investigators say the timeshare companies were a clever front for a timeshare fraud syndicate that duped timeshare owners out of $5 million nationwide.
According to reports, Pappalardo hired known felons, drug addicts, and the like to work as telemarketers at the two companies. Those employees were known by aliases such as “Bowling Ball” and “Fat Patsy,” an indictment says. These and other telemarketers from both companies would call timeshare owners across the United States and claim they had buyers who were prepared to purchase the victim’s property, sources say. The telemarketers would ask for a down payment of $10,000 from the victims, which the victims believed was needed to complete the deals.
In the end, though, no sale was made, and the companies would stop responding to queries after receiving the deposits. It is not known just how many timeshare owners were robbed in the course of the scam, nor is it clear how long the scam operated. During a lengthy investigation, detectives claim they have found no instances where either company actually completed a legitimate timeshare sale. It remains to be seen whether any of the victims will press charges to get their money back.
According to reports, detectives have identified and indicted 41 people in the massive timeshare fraud, including Pappalardo. So far, 23 of the indicted defendants have accepted plea deals, at least two have set court dates, and another has died of unreported causes.
While Pappalardo worked on the alleged scheme, Pappalardo reportedly bragged about his fraudulent activities. Police also say they identified at least two occurrences where Pappalardo met with the Gambino crime family, a legendary New York gang family, to talk about the alleged timeshare fraud. In addition, detectives say Pappalardo “would use violence or the threats of violence.” During one of those alleged threats, Pappalardo allegedly said he would tear a person’s face of using the claw end of a hammer. It is not clear whether Pappalardo actually followed through with any of his purported threats.
Sources: 3.20.13 Pappalardo Timeshare Fraud.pdf.