A jury on Thursday convicted 28-year-old Adam Lacerda of Egg Harbor Township; his 32-year-old wife, Ashley Lacerda, and two others on a variety of counts including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud.
According to evidence presented in court, Adam Lacerda devised a fraudulent sales pitch for his Vacation Ownership Group in which he instructed the company's sales force to lie that the company worked with banks holding customers' loans and could cancel their timeshares and get their money bank. More than a dozen victims testified during the trial that they lost tens of thousands of dollars in the scheme. Prosecutors estimated the conspirators netted $3 million overall.
In addition to the Lacerdas, Ian Resnick, 37, of Absecon, was convicted on one count of conspiracy and three counts each of mail fraud and wire fraud, and 46-year-old Genevieve Manzoni of Lake Worth, Fla., was convicted on one count each of conspiracy and mail fraud. Alleged co-conspirator Joseph Diventi, 32, of Somers Point, was acquitted on two counts.
Each count carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison plus a fine. The four convicted defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in mid-December.
Thirteen other people connected to the scheme have already pleaded guilty.