EAST. ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A New Jersey woman has pleaded guilty to federal charges linked to a telemarketing scheme that prosecutors say defrauded more than 22,000 victims throughout the U.S. and Canada of $30 million.
Thirty-one-year-old Jennifer Kirk of Howell, N.J., entered the pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
Federal prosecutors say Kirk operated Florida-based Universal Marketing Solutions and later Creative Vacation Solutions from October 2007 to December 2009. They say she employed telemarketers who told timeshare owners they had buyers for their properties.
Kirk's workers solicited advanced fees from each victim in purported closing costs they promised to eventually refund once the deals closed. But Kirk's companies pocketed the closing costs.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 24.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)