Grand Miramar Club & Spa — Time suckers
Thomas and Veronica Hart are victims of a scam orchestrated by John Monte, C.E.O. of Grand Miramar Club and Spa designed to induce Thomas and Veronica Hart to sign an $89, 552 World Luxury Destinations contract, # WLDM0000112, permitting use of a penthouse at the Grand
Miramar Resort. Mr. Monte, along with the sales and office staff of Grand Miramar Club and Spa
and a Mr. James Brooks, an in house employee based in a Houston corporation controlled by
John Monte, carried out a scheme of deception involving written guarantees of money to be
paid for sale of previously owned timeshares that there was no intention to honor, and rental
income, as well as a false claim of approved financing with Bank of America.
On October 24, 2011, we (Thomas and Veronica Hart) attended a sales presentation at the sales
office of Grand Miramar Club and Spa, where we were asked to list our existing timeshares
and whether we would consider transferring any of our timeshares. We met with salesman
Michael Gardea who extolled the benefits of World Luxury Destinations membership, which
required purchase of weeks of residence at the Grand Miramar Resort and allows use of the
Grand Venetian and Tres Mares resorts. He was later joined by John Monte, C.E.O of Grand Miramar Club and Spa. Mr. Monte
presented information stating that we could get $49, 220 USD for the Grand Bliss (2BD, $18, 140 for the Sheraton Broadway Plantation in Myrtle Beach (2BD)
and $27, 146 for Villa del Palmar Flamingos (1 BD every other year), and stated that a foreclosed
4 bedroom penthouse at the Grand Miramar Resort could be had for $89, 552, permitting use
by us of 4 weeks per year at either the Grand Miramar, Grand Venetian or Tres Mares resorts
plus 4 additional weeks per year at other resorts available to World Luxury Destination
Following a tour of Grand Miramar Resort penthouse with salesman Michael Gardea, John
Monte presented a document, showing Continental Resources as the letterhead, guaranteeing
payment to us of $49, 220 for the Grand Bliss, $18, 140 for the Sheraton Broadway Plantation
and $27, 146 for the Villa del Palmar timeshare within 60 days after proof of ownership is
provided, plus 4 weeks guaranteed rentals of $2, 800 per week for 5 years. The document states
that " failure to execute this agreement in stated manner will result in all contacts being null
and void and all monies will be refunded." Contract #s CRC21223 & WLD M00000112 are
Based on that document and Mr. Monte's claim that interim financing by Bank of America at
2.9 percent had been approved, covering the 2 month period preceding completion of the
timeshare liquidation process, we signed a Grand Miramar Club and Spa, listing a purchase price of $89, 552, a down payment of $35, 000, and a balance to be financed of $54, 552. The contract states at the bottom that it waswitnessed by Biyaldi Estrategias Turistica SA DE CY as an authorized affiliate, and is signed by John Monte. I signed an American Express credit card slip for the down payment, receiving assurance that the AMEX charge would be reversed when interim financing at Bank of America was finalized. A Promissory Note stating that we agreed to pay $54, 552 to Vector Casa De Bolsa SA.DE CV by wire to Citibank NA in New York by November 15, 2011 was presented to us
and signed. Realizing the next day (10/25/11) that Mr. Monte failed to sign the document guaranteeing payment to us with 60 days of a total of $94, 506 for our timeshares, plus rentals of $11, 200 per year for 5 years, we went back to the sales office by cab to obtain Mr. Monte's signature on that document. He claimed that his failure to sign was an oversight and then signed the document guaranteeing payment. He also signed a letter stating that the AMEX credit card
charge would be reversed when initial financing is complete. The fact that we had not received
an email reportedly sent to us by Continental Resources was discussed.
At 8:19 PM on 10/25/11, having still received nothing from Continental Resources, I sent an
email to the email address given to us by Mr. Monte asking for proof that Grand Miramar Club and Spa would be bound under the law to cancel contract if payment by Continental Resources is not applied toward the cost of our Grand Miramar Club and Spa, and for information about the company identified as Continental Resources. I advised that I had prepared a letter giving notice of cancellation and hoped to hear from him, but received no response.
At 4:34PM on October 26, 2011, 1 sent an email advising that Notice of Cancellation of contract
was being sent by DHL registered mail. However, prior to scheduled pick up by DHL at The
Grand Bliss where we were staying, I received a phone call from James Brooks of Continental
Resources in Houston. He claimed that we should have received an email with instruction that
he sent to us on October 25, 2011, resent that email, and convinced me that Continental
Resources already had buyers for our timeshares and that we would receive the proceeds
within 40 days. After consulting with my wife, I cancelled the DHL pickup of the Notice of
Cancellation and sent another email stating that the prior emails expressing our intention to
cancel the contracts were to be disregarded.
On Monday October 31, 2011, 1 sent an email to World Luxury Destinations explaining that I
had called on Friday asking for Bank of America contact information regarding financing needed
to pay the $54, 552 Citibank promissory note and that Ms. Monserrat Torres, Member Services
Manager, stated she would be able to obtain necessary information from Bank of America and
provide such information by email. I also explained that AMEX charged a total of $36, 236.39,
including a foreign transaction fee of $952.68 and an extra $283.71 due to an incorrect
I called Ms. Monserrat Torres later on October 31 asking to speak with Mr. Monte regarding
financing. He then called me, claiming that Bank of America would grant credit card financing
at 2.99 percent on the basis that I would be transferring a balance transfer. Internet research
actually revealed that current Bank of America terms allow 0% financing for 15 months for
credit balance transfers, but requires a 4% transfer fee. I pointed that out in an email sent later
that night, but received no response. Thinking things over the next day, we finally realized that
we had been misled by John Monte regarding Bank of America financing.
On November 1, 2011, Ms. Monserrat Torres sent an email stating that Mr. Brooks had wired
$2, 800 USD to be paid to us for 1 week rent in 2011. She called the next day, the day of our
departure, stating that $2, 800 plus the amount of the foreign transfer fee would be wired if I
provided our bank account routing and account numbers. On November 3, 2011, upon our return to our home, I sent that information to Ms. Monserrat Torres, faxed proof of ownership of our timeshares to Mr. James Brooks, and spoke to Mr. Brooks, who claimed that he would proceed to expedite liquidation of our 3 timeshares.
Later on November 3, 2010, 1 searched the internet for information regarding the Grand Miramar resort and was shocked to discover that offers of guaranteed buyouts of timeshares owned by clients of Grand Miramar sales personnel is a sham, and that John Monte has been the primary perpetrator of that scam, as well as the scam of falsely offering financing at a low
introductory rate. Research revealed that resale companies claimed to be responsible for such
timeshare sales are shell companies with in house representatives controlled by Mr. Monte, that the timeshares of other clients were never sold and that promised rental payments "guaranteed" to clients purchasing use of the Grand Miramar had not been received.
It is apparent that Continental Resources is not a legitimate timeshare resale company, that Mr.
James Brooks' representations to me were false, and we have been misled throughout the sales
process by World Luxury Destinations C.E.O and Continental Resources President John Monte,
salesman Michael Gardea, World Luxury Destinations Member Services Manager Monserrat
Torres and Mr. James Brooks of the shell company Continental Resources.
Considering that John Monte signed both the World Luxury Destinations contract and the
agreement to refund all monies if payment to us of $94, 506 for timeshare sales plus rental
income is not made, and that it is clear that the agreement to pay the specified amounts will not be executed, we contend that we should not be held liable for payment of any amount and that cancellation of the World Luxury Destinations contract is warranted.