Club Class reclaim scammer Sean Thompson jailed for 6 and a half years

49 year old Thompson scammed vulnerable elderly people, including a couple that lost nearly £390,000. Thompson and his accomplice Caroline Preston, aged 38, targeted people that had previously been victims of the notorious Club Class scam. They used fake legal documents, and told their victims they would receive huge sums in compensation after paying the bogus legal fees.

This is not the first time Thompson has been involved in such scams. He was previously a director of a business named Timeshare Reclaim Legal Services, based in Cornwall, which started up in 2013 and was wound up in 2015. This business cold-called Club Class victims and used the same criminal tactics.

The Club Class operation was a fraudulent holiday and lifestyle membership club that was partially shut down by the UK authorities in 2012. They made false promises to timeshare owners that they would assist with timeshare relinquishment and enroll the owners into a new lifestyle club, which would provide exceptional discounts and benefits. The businesses failed to deliver on both counts. The liquidation process of the seven businesses that were wound up was completed only recently, and no compensation to victims is possible.  No arrests or banning orders were made over the Club Class frauds, and several of those involved continued to act dishonestly. One of the businesses involved with Club Class – ITRA, carried on with timeshare exit and claims deceptions until it was wound up in the UK High Court in 2019.

These scams are continuing, with timeshare owners constantly pestered by cold-calls.  Cold-callers are responsible for around 90% of scams against timeshare owners, with losses estimated in excess of £150 million. Owners are strongly recommended to not engage with, and report all cold-callers. Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, has issued the following advice.

  • Never respond to cold calls, emails or letters – your details have probably been obtained illegally.
  • Spot the Signs of Recovery Fraud – you are contacted by an agency that knows a lot about the money you lost, but they want a fee first. Genuine agencies never ask for fees to recover money lost to fraudsters.
  • Seek advice first – before making significant financial decisions, speak with trusted friends or family members, or seek professional independent advice.
  • Timeshare owners looking to sell or relinquish their timeshare should always contact their resort for advice and guidance. The resort may have an exit programme in place and, depending on their personal situation, they may be able to hand back their timeshare free of charge.