Suspects in Time-share Transfer Scheme Now Facing New Case
Two men accused of running a time-share transfer scheme are facing new charges after even more victims have come forward since their original indictment in 2016, and prosecutors also are now searching for a third suspect.
A Boulder judge issued an arrest warrant for Kristopher Chavez, 35, and Timothy Hatcher, 52, on two counts of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, four counts of theft from an at-risk elder and one count of theft from an at-risk adult.
Chavez is also facing nine counts of theft between $2,000 and $5,000, one count of theft of $750 to $2,000, three counts of theft $300 to $750, and 10 counts of criminal impersonation, while Hatcher is also facing seven counts of theft of $2,000 to $5,000, theft of $750 to $2,000 and theft of $300 to $750.
Chavez was booked into custody at the Boulder County Jail on Thursday, while prosecutors are still waiting on Hatcher to turn himself in, according to Boulder District Attorney spokeswoman Catherine Olguin.
The affidavits for Chavez and Hatcher also revealed that prosecutors are searching for a third suspect in the case, Shaun Michael Fletcher, 34, who has not yet been found.
Chavez and Hatcher were initially indicted by a Boulder County grand jury in December of 2015 on two counts of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act as well as 47 other counts that include theft of various amounts and criminal impersonation.
In February 2017 , prosecutors added 37 new counts of theft and criminal impersonation to Chavez’s case and 11 counts of theft to Hatcher’s case.
According to the indictment, Chavez and Hatcher operated a time share fraud scheme from 2014 through September 2016.
Investigators said that Hatcher would contact time-share owners across the U.S. — most of them elderly — and invite them to a seminar at a local hotel, where he would pitch a proposal wherein the owners would pay a onetime fee to transfer ownership of their time share.
Once the payment was made, the owners would be referred to Chavez — operating under the alias Chris Culhane — to transfer the title out of their name as well as sign paperwork appointing a third party as the “attorney-in-fact” for the transfer.
But according to the indictment, the owners later discovered that their time shares had not been legitimately transferred and that they were still liable for homeowners association and maintenance fees. Because they had named a third party as the attorney for the transfer, many of these owners never received the notifications that they owed payments.
Both are set for a joint trial on that case starting on July 16 .
In the arrest affidavit in the new case, prosecutors said that 17 additional couples or individuals came forward following press coverage of the case, prompting the District Attorney’s Office to open up a new case for those victims.
The description those people gave matched previous cases. In addition, the affidavit noted that Fletcher — who police believe at one point lived with Chavez — was also involved in the scheme, and a warrant for his arrest was issued in November 2017.
Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, email@example.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars