- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) - Two people are headed to prison for their roles in a timeshare mortgage fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors say 56-year-old Francis Santore, of Northfield, and 36-year-old Alfred Giordano, of Belmar, worked for The Vacation Ownership Group LLC, a company that offered consulting services to timeshare owners.

Both men were trained to give customers the false impression that they worked for a bank or lending institution, then persuade them to send in money. For example, one customer was told that if they paid the firm $8,562, it would eliminate about $18,000 mortgage debt the customer owed a timeshare developer.

Santore was sentenced Friday to a year in prison, while Giordano received an 18-month term. Both men had pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

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