An Alberta-based timeshare operation is now facing nearly 200 charges following a three year investigation based on complaints leading back to 2008.

Four companies and two individuals are facing criminal charges and charges related to the violation of Alberta's consumer protection legislation:

  • Chateau World Vacations Inc., and its director Kim Schram of Edmonton; and
  • Properties International Ltd., Royal Crown Resorts Ltd., Royal Club Resorts Inc., and their director Andre Muran of Canmore.

Combined charges include:

  • 168 Criminal Code counts of fraud over $5,000 and 24 Fair Trading Act charges of misleading or deceiving consumers;
  • misrepresenting a consumer's rights, remedies or obligations;
  • using exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity of material fact in a consumer transaction.

The four companies ran the timeshare operation at different times, offering access to Chateau Canmore Resort in Canmore, and the Banff Gate Mountain Lodge and Spa in Harvie Heights.

59 consumers with losses over $1M has signed timeshare contracts that stipulated that the club facilities were held in trust.

It should have protected consumers in the event of insolvency, but it's alleged the stipulation was false.

Alberta's Fair Trading Act prohibits businesses from misleading or deceiving consumers. Penalties include a maximum fine of $100,000 or three times the amount obtained in the offence, whichever is greater, and up to two years in jail.

The parties are scheduled to appear in Calgary provincial court on August 4.