SILVER LAKE, Kan. -- You've probably gotten the phone call, someone offering you a nearly free weekend in Branson. All you have to is sit through a pitch to buy a timeshare. But when an elderly Kansas couple did just that, they found themselves out $5,000 and nothing to show for it.
That couple is Marian and Ray Burns of Silver Lake, Kansas. Both are retired and enjoyed spending time in Branson until their most recent visit when they became the victims of what they say is clearly fraud.
"We realized it was fraud by April 8," recalled Marian Burns. "From the beginning nobody did what they said they would do."
The Burns said they had been sold a timeshare in Branson. But after handing over a check for $5,000, they never got the deed. According to their bank records, all the Burns' money went to Resort Travel Center. It's a timeshare sales office owned by John Monteleon and operated by his sister, Tina Monteleon.
Once you've handed over your money, finding the Monteleons, isn't so easy.
"We had Tina's cell phone number," Ray Burns said. "But now it's been changed. John Monteleon's number has been changed."
That's why the Burns called FOX 4 Problem Solvers. We headed to Branson to pay a personal visit to Resort Travel Center. That's where we found Tina Monteleon sitting behind a desk, ready to sell her next timeshare.
Tina Monteleone said she was doing everything she could to help the Burns. We found that difficult to believe since the Burns haven't even been able to get anyone on the phone.
Tina put the entire blame for the Burns' predicament on the company that owns the timeshare she supposedly sold them -- Crown Point.
"Crown Point Branson pulled out of here in December they left owing everybody money in town," Tina said.
But that excuse raises even more alarms since Tina didn't sell the Burns a Crown Point timeshare until two months later in February. Plus all the Burns' money was paid directly to her company. But Tina insists she's the innocent middleman and not to blame for the fact the Burns have nothing.
It's an excuse the local prosecutor isn't buying. The Taney County Prosecutor has now charged Tina's brother, John Monteleon, with felony theft for stealing from the Burns. There's a warrant out for Monteleon's arrest.
The owner of Crown Point, the timeshare company the Monteleons were supposedly selling contracts for, tells us he's heard from 40 couples who he says were all scammed by the Monteleons. If you are one of them, you need to contact the Taney County Prosecutor's office.