A former California real estate agent who lives in Northern California has been arrested for allegedly bilking several individuals, including a Cerritos woman, out of thousands of dollars, and authorities are now searching for other victims who may fallen for his online timeshare sales scam.
Last week Placer County Sheriff’s detectives arrested William Frank Lordier, 54, with assistance from detective Rich Kent, who began investigating the case in early June when a Cerritos woman reported being swindled by Lordier.
According to a Sheriff’s Department statement, the former California real estate agent was selling timeshares on Craigslist, drawing interests from unsuspecting victims who gave Lordier their bank account information, which he then allegedly used to take money from those accounts for his own personal gain.
So far detectives have located at least 10 victims in Los Angeles and Nevada counties, Sacramento, Washington and Oregon, Kent told Patch.
Cerritos Sheriff’s Detective Helps Crack Case
One of those victims is a Cerritos woman who first came into contact with Lordier on May 1, when she responded to a Craigslist ad about purchasing a WorldMark by Wyndham timeshare unit in Riverside County, said Kent.
“He knew the language and jargon to use, so he made an arrangement to set her up for a timeshare in Indio,” the detective said. “He sent her some paperwork and she reluctantly provided her checking account info to him, authorizing a deduction of $1,800, but she thought it was all legit.”
After some time passed, the victim’s Wells Fargo bank account showed two electronic check transactions withdrawing a total of $1,800 from her account. But she never received any final paperwork for her timeshare purchase.
She then attempted to contact Lordier but his phone was disconnected and his online Craigslist ad had since disappeared, prompting her to contact the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station on June 6 to file a report.
Upon being assigned to the case, Kent began investigating the bank transactions performed by Lordier and was able to track him down to his place of residence in Meadow Vista, California.
Placer County detectives soon linked the suspect to other victims who had fallen prey to his timeshare sham. He was arrested on June 21 and is now facing grand theft charges, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Do Your Homework to Avoid Being Scammed
With timeshare sales ads and offers often found on the internet, Kent says it’s common for people to fall victim to similar types of real estate scams, making it imperative for individuals to do their homework before becoming involved in any type of sales transaction.
“Contact the company directly to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate person,” he said. “That’s something our Cerritos victim did after the fact, when it was too late.”
Other Victims Sought
Kent said detectives believe Lordier has been conning people for quite some time, but victims are often reluctant to report what happened because they feel embarrassed about falling for such a sham.
Anyone who may have been a victim of Lordier's alleged scam is asked to call Cerritos Sheriff’s Detective Rich Kent at (562) 860-0044.