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Resale ripoff

Companies that offer to resell your timeshare may sound like a sure thing, but thousands of customers say they were ripped off. And state officials have done little to stop it.

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Gold Crown Property Management

Company details

Opened on: Feb. 6, 2006

Closed on: Sept. 23, 2011

Location: 1059 Broadway Ave. #A, Dunedin, 34698

Second location: 1497 Main St. #344, Dunedin, Pinellas , 34698

Better Business Bureau rating: F

Business website: Inactive

Company history

Gold Crown Property Management

Gold Crown Property Management generated 391 complaints with the Florida Attorney General's Office, the most against any company in the Tampa Bay area. Many of the complaints are about the company refusing to honor its refund policy. Gold Crown promised to refund 75 percent of its marketing fee if a customer didn't receive three "offers, inquiries, updates or bids" within 18 months, according to Gold Crown paperwork on file with the state. Many customers say they never heard back from the company after paying, but were still refused their refunds.

 

At left, the company's location at 1059 Broadway Ave. #A in Dunedin.
DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Actions against this business

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fined Gold Crown $10,000 in April 2008 for using unlicensed salespeople, using scripts not on file with the  state, and changing the location of the business without informing the state.

The Florida Attorney General's Office sued Gold Crown in July 2011 under the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The case is ongoing.
 

Officer

Name: Jason Kress , vice president

Kress, of Holiday, said his company was legitimate.

"The Attorney General's case against us is going nowhere, because they have no case," he said.

Officer

Xiques

Name: Roy Xiques, president

Xiques answered the door to his Clearwater home in September and gave a brief interview.

"We didn't scam anybody," he said, before closing the door.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office photo taken in 2010 for a battery arrest. Charges were dropped.

Customer complaints

Gold Crown Property Management has generated 391 consumer complaints to the Florida Attorney General's Office since 2009. Search a database of Pinellas and Hillsborough county companies that have been listed in two or more complaints to the Florida Attorney General.

List of all the companies in this report

How we did this story

The Tampa Bay Times started investigating the timeshare resale industry in June 2011.

The newspaper reviewed more than 2,000 consumer complaints against Tampa Bay area companies and tracked down their offices across two counties in an attempt to interview owners and employees.

The Times interviewed more than 100 people, including company employees, victims and government officials who oversee or investigate timeshare resale companies. It also reviewed thousands of pages of court documents and licensing records and closely examined the criminal histories of employees at more than a dozen local resale companies with customer complaints.

The complaints reviewed are those recorded by the state Attorney General's Office, which operates a fraud "hotline" and accepts and categorizes complaints that come in by phone, email and letter.

Contact reporter Will Hobson to suggest further timeshare resale story ideas.

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