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Tuesday 22 March 2016

16-084MR Wyndham Vacation Resorts Consultant charged with defrauding clients

Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Cymon Fontaine has appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court charged with seven charges of fraud.  ASIC is alleging that Mr Fontaine defrauded six clients for a total of $105,910.10 and caused a loss of $4500 to another client.

Between 28 June 2011 and 1 July 2013, Mr Fontaine was an authorised representative and Corporate Upgrades Consultant for Wyndham Vacation Resorts South Pacific Limited (Wyndham), a financial services company selling time share interests in resorts and hotels.

Between April 2013 and October 2013, Mr Fontaine exploited the credibility and contacts gained from his position as a Corporate Upgrades Consultant to contact existing clients. He then offered to assist them with upgrades and the purchase of second hand credits at a cheaper rate than what was being offered by Wyndham.

Mr Fontaine used these funds for his own purposes, never purchasing the agreed second hand credits for the clients. Upon learning of his behaviour Wyndham terminated Mr Fontaine's employment on 1 July, 2013. However, Mr Fontaine continued to defraud some clients after his employment was terminated.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'This kind of dishonesty is not tolerated by ASIC or the community.'

This matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Background

Mr Fontaine has been charged under sections 408C(1)(d) and 408C(1)(e) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld). The maximum penalties under these sections is between 5 and  12 years imprisonment.

Wyndham is a developer and marketer of flexible, points-based holiday ownership products. Clients buy into different levels of memberships with Wyndham by buying "points" or "credits" from Wyndham. Depending on a client's level of membership (determined by the number of credits the client has) they are allowed different levels of privileges and benefits, including using their credits to stay at Wyndham's resorts and hotels or partner resorts or hotels.

The matter was before the court on 21 March and is again listed for mention in Southport's Magistrates Court on 18 April 2016. Mr Fontaine applied for and was granted bail on his own undertaking.

Editor's note 1:

On 18 April 2016, the matter was adjourned for further mention until 16 May 2016.

Editor's note 2:

The matter has been adjourned until 20 June 2016. 

Editor's note 3:

The matter has been adjourned to 15 August 2016 for a registry committal.

Last updated: 23/05/2016 12:00