A Georgia woman has been indicted on federal fraud charges after authorities said she embezzled more than $2 million from a timeshare company she managed and used it for gambling.
According to U.S. Attorney BJay Pak, 51-year-old Kathy Tice Craig of Zebulon defrauded more than 1,000 timeshare owners who were customers of the company she was employed by.
“Most of these victims were elderly,” Pak said. “She allegedly collected and spent the fees owed the company on gambling and trips for herself.”
Craig had worked for Caribbean Service Group since 2003, Pak said. The company, which operated out of Atlanta and Zebulon, ran a timeshare resort in Freeport, Bahamas, called the Woodbourne Estates Resort.
When the original owners died in 2009 and 2010, Craig stepped into a management position with “no close supervision,” Pak said.
The embezzlement began in February 2012 and lasted through 2018, he said.
Craig allegedly took $1.2 million by “simply transferring money from CSG’s bank accounts to her own,” Pak said. She acquired another $450,000 by negotiating checks made out by CSG to cash and used $300,000 more to pay off her personal credit cards by writing checks on the company’s accounts, Pak said.
She used the embezzled funds on gambling trips, including many to the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, officials said. She also allegedly bought a large number of Georgia Lottery tickets.
“Money that should have been used by CSG to run the resort and fulfill its obligations to timeshare owners was allegedly embezzled by Craig instead,” Pak said.
During this time, Craig operated the timeshare resort without casualty insurance, despite the fact it was required by the lease agreements, Pak said.
“Over the years, the buildings at the resort deteriorated through storm damage and neglect, so that fewer were usable,” he said. “Craig allowed the resort less money to run on as time went on, before cutting off financial support to it entirely in December 2015.”
At the start of the next year, the resort was in such bad shape that Craig was not allowing timeshare owners to vacation there, Pak said. However, she continued to bill them for maintenance fees and threatened to refer them to a collection agency if they fell behind on payments.
“She also approved transfers of some of the timeshare leases to new owners, essentially recruiting new victims even after the resort was no longer viable,” Pak said.
Craig, who is charged with mail fraud, was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday, Pak said.
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