With timeshare resale scams such a huge problem here in the United States, it is easy to forget that there are timeshares located throughout the world and that it really can be an issue anywhere that timeshares are bought and sold. That is certainly the case right now in Europe, as two British men have become the center of a whirlwind legal controversy stemming from the collapse of their timeshare business.
The two men, Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, are British business men that operated a timeshare company out of Budapest, Hungary. They business fell apart in 2005 after the men were brought up on fraud charges. This may not seem like all it is all that different than when shady business owners get caught in the States, but things run a bit differently overseas. Under what is known as European Arrest Warrants (EAW), Turner was extradited to Hungary in 2009 where he was kept in what he describes as appalling conditions for several weeks in a notoriously rough prison. However, he was released back to Britain on February 29 with no explanation. The two now face a criminal trial in Hungary that is set for later this year.
Whether or not these men are guilty of the crimes (they maintain their innocence) has yet to be seen, but the way the EAW system works is now under scrutiny. The men would have likely faced a civil trial in Britain years ago, but under collective European law he was sent to Hungary before any evidence was brought against him and the pair now face a lengthy criminal trial that won’t begin until June at the earliest.
This just goes to show that no matter where you live, if you are trying to sell a timeshare you have to protect yourself. Laws differ from country to country, and here in the US some states have begun drafting legislation to not only protect owners but set up harsher punishments for those who attempt timeshare fraud.