ALBANY — A Saratoga Springs resident was bilked out of nearly $4,000 in a timeshare scam, and the Texas man accused of perpetrating the fraud now faces charges.
The defendant, Xavier Walton, 26, of San Antonio, is due to be arraigned next week in federal court in Albany on one count of wire fraud.
In all, Walton is suspected of receiving more than $285,000 from at least 23 victims nationwide, according to his indictment.
The scheme ran from 2014 to 2015 and centered on timeshare rentals. Participants contacted timeshare owners and offered to pay them to rent a certain amount of time on the units, the indictment states.
The catch came as the scammers instructed the timeshare owners to send money to cover supposed taxes or fees. When the owners sent the money to accounts set up by Walton under the name AB Transfer, Walton would withdraw the money and give nothing in return, the indictment states.
Prosecutors cite four specific victims in the indictment, one each in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ontario and Saratoga Springs. Each is identified by their initials.
According to the indictment, unidentified callers contacted the Saratoga Springs victim in March 2015 and offered to purchase time from her timeshare. They then instructed her to wire nearly $4,000 to cover taxes to facilitate the transaction, the indictment states.
The Ontario victim wired $4,500, the Florida victim $14,000 and the Pennsylvania victim lost $61,000, according to the indictment.
Walton initially appeared in federal court in San Antonio last week and was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, records show. He is due in court Tuesday in Albany.