A 44-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to operating a timeshare fraud scheme that prosecutors alleged ripped off at least five victims in Orange County.
Luke Shannon McKinley was charged Sept. 16 with one count of conspiracy, three counts of theft from an elder adult and five counts of grand theft, all felonies. He was scheduled to return to court Nov. 2 for a pretrial hearing in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Justin Ridgway has not yet been taken into custody, according to court records.
Prosecutors said the pair created two companies, UDI Consulting and Iron Horse Consulting Group, in Missouri. The companies allegedly operated a “timeshare resale fraud ring targeting timeshare owners across the United States,” Orange County District Attorney investigator Henry C. Griffin Jr. alleged.
The five local victims were contacted about getting out of their timeshare agreements and were to receive vacation points at club in Florida, Griffin alleged. None of them were successful in getting out of the agreements, Griffin said.
Among the Orange County victims: one woman paid $10,154 Oct. 24, 2017; another woman paid $15,534 on Sept. 20, 2017; a man paid $3,747 on July 20, 2017; a woman paid $14,183 on Sept. 25, 2017; and another man paid $7,257 on Sept. 22, 2017, according to Griffin. The total local losses were $51,178, he alleged.