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American wanted in $6m US timeshare fraud arrested in the Philippines

Manila: An American telemarketer wanted in his own country for allegedly ripping off a total $6 million from clients in the United States and Canada had been caught in the Philippines after evading US authorities for six years.

Osvaldo Gonzales was initially arrested by Philippine authorities for domestic violence, but as it turned out, a record check by the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) on him turned out that he was also wanted for wire fraud in the US.

The suspect was said to have been appearing in Philippine television and film playing bit roles. He was arrested by police in Magdalena town in Laguna on Friday, the GMA Network said.

The suspect was taken in for domestic violence against his Filipina live-in partner on the complaint of a neighbour.

In the television interview, Gonzales denied the accusation that he hurt his partner.

“There is a truth in that, but I’m going to get a legal counsel,” he said while later on admitting that he has a case pending in the US.

Gonzales had been wanted in the US since 2011 for mail and wire fraud. According to the US Department of Justice, he was a telemarketer in the US.

“The criminal indictment alleges that Gonzalez was a telemarketer who worked for National Solutions and related companies located in Orlando, Florida,” the US State Department said.

Gonzales had been hoodwinking client in the US by claiming that they operate a number of time share businesses in US and Canada.

“The indictment alleges that his participation in the scheme began on or about October 6, 2010 and continued through May 19, 2011. The indictment alleges that telemarketers for National Solutions placed cold calls to timeshare owners and then falsely represented that their company had actual buyers for the owners’ timeshare property,” the State Department said.

“Telemarketers then solicited advanced fees of up to several thousand dollars from each victim in purported closing costs… Despite collecting fees from these victims, these companies were not successful in selling a single timeshare unit, the indictment alleges,” the US State Department add.

According to Daniel Dagazo, chief of the NBI in Laguna, Gonzales will be turned over to the Bureau of Immigration for deportation and turnover to US authorities.

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