SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Missouri man is being sued by two states accusing him of defrauding people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by promising to help them unload their timeshares.
Brian Scroggs is the man behind a timeshare exit empire that operates under the names Vacation Consulting Services, VCS Communications, The Transfer Group and Real Travel, according to a lawsuit filed the attorneys general in Missouri and Arkansas.
“This individual and his companies were pretty prolific in defrauding people trying to get out of their timeshares,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said.
According to lawsuits, here’s how it worked: Customers received either a phone call or a mailer inviting them for a free meal and seminar where they were promised a 100% guarantee that for $5,000-$10,000 they could be free of their timeshare in as little as six months time.
Russell and Mallorie Walker paid Scroggs about $8,000 two years ago and still have their timeshare.
“We never heard anything from them for awhile, so we reached out to them a few times,” Russell Walker said.
Vacation Consulting Services claimed the Walkers’ timeshare was no longer their problem because it had given their timeshare-exit contract to a different company called the Transfer Group, which sold it to yet another company called Real Travel.
But the Walkers found that increasingly hard to believe.
“We got the same recording when we called, the same voice mail, the same music,” Russell said. “Eventually we talked to the same people.”
Schmitt said Scroggs is behind every one of those companies. The lawsuit claims Scroggs created new companies as a way to “continue to perpetrate his fraud.”
Another customer, who only wanted to be identified by his first name Larry, said he lost more than $5,000 to Scroggs three years ago. He filed complaints with the Arkansas and Missouri attorneys general.
Scroggs wasn’t happy when he found out.
“He threatened to have his lawyer sue me for defamation for harming his reputation unless I agreed to withdraw my complaints,” Larry said.
FOX4 Problem Solvers wanted answers from the man who multiple lawsuits accuse of not only running a scam, but bullying and intimidating people into giving him money – Brian Scroggs.
Because Scroggs was evicted from his Springfield office complex for not paying rent, we paid a visit to his home. He answered the door, but shut it as soon as we told him we wanted to ask him about his business practices.
Although Scroggs wouldn’t talk to us, in the past he’s told the Better Business Bureau that he’s innocent of any fraud and blames complaints against his companies on what he described as typical problems when one expands a business too rapidly.
But that’s an empty excuse to the dozens of couples whose lawsuits claim are collectively out more than $800,000 and still stuck in a timeshare.
Scroggs is now facing consumer fraud charges in both Missouri and Arkansas. He’s expected to go to trail next spring.