Three former employees of a company that federal prosecutors say preyed on elderly timeshare owners have pleaded guilty.

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They are among 10 people charged in connection with a company called The Vacation Ownership Group LLC, which prosecutors say ran a $3 million mail and wire fraud conspiracy involving timeshare mortgages.

Prosecutors say company employees persuaded at least 225 owners that they could pay off their mortgage balances at reduced rates by mailing payments to the New Jersey-based outfit. They then allegedly used owners' signatures to purchase additional time shares.

The US Attorney's office announced Thursday that 50-year-old Jeffrey Sawyer of Mullica Hill, 49-year-old Steven Cox of Ventnor and 41-year-old Eric Reiff of Ocean City, pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges.

Reiff also admitted to illegally collecting unemployment benefits.


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