December 21, 2014

Karma Catching up to Westgate Owner David Siegel

Utah Stories began reporting on David Siegel and his timeshare ripoffs beginning before the housing bubble in 2008. At that point Siegal was at the top of the world, looking to post $1 billion in sales with his company Westgate Resorts.

We learned from attending a Westgate Resorts timeshare presentation that his sales associates flat out lied to customers. After we initially wrote this story we received hundreds, of similar stories. It became clear that Siegel and his team at Westgate were selling blatant timeshare rip-offs in a classic bait and switch scheme, using contracts full of gotchas.

Now in a tell-all documentary film “The Queen of Versailles” it appears that karma is striking back and Siegel and his company are getting a bit of the same bitter pill of financial problems they sold  to so many Westgate owners.

Self described by Siegel as a “riches to rags” story, the documentary is released by Magnolia Pictures and earned acclaim at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival winning the award for Best Director. The Siegel’s attempted to build the largest private residence in America a 90,000 square foot monstrosity. But it appears the home was never completed as the Siegels ran into severe financial problems.

We reported on the Planet Hollywood Tower in Las Vegas, this tower was completed but it seems from the film trailer that Siegel is being advised to give the tower up to the bank. From the hundreds of stories we have received regarding the financial hardship these timeshare scams have caused , it’s very nice to see that  not all businesses that prey on people who trust the lies of sales people finish on top.


More Stories on Westgate Resorts

Westgate Admits Blatant False Advertising 

Timeshare Ripoff Scam From Westgate Resorts



  1. Dianne McNair says:

    I do have a Rabbit in the Hat and a Super Trick up my own sleeve that will render the entire deal revokable – if even one thread is loose, the whole garment comes apart to nullify every tenet of this so-called Contract. It's a house built on sand, will not stand.

  2. Dianne McNair says:

    I see it is not my misperception about Westgate Resorts, in the aftermath of my experience at a Presentation. The first and least of the lies is that you'll get a wonderful breakfast. The rest of your time is a whirlwind of 'philosophy' of the benefits of 'owning a Vacation Villa' (Timeshare NEVER mentioned), fast talk and magically appearing MasterCards to enable the down payment, misinformation, dodging direct questions with full-of-holes answers, HOA terms are deceptively given, and then you find out you are paying mortgage but you can only use it as one would a Timeshare. TIMESHARE?!!! If I had known that when I got the invitation to see fabulous Vacation Villas I would have declined/not even attended. I was even lied to in the Closer's Office (and they recorded that process). I was told AFTER SIGNING what I THOUGHT I was 'BUYING' …that the agreement is IRREVOCABLE. She said they cannot cancel and I cannot cancel. Who ever heard of THAT? Ink's not dry but contract now signed.

    I reached out to the Sales Manager and that Closer several times and left voice mail messages to call me for answers to questions that still raised concern. Never got a call back from any of the 3 who dealt with me. Calling the Business Office over the next couple of months gave me answers that were shocking, and made me feel that the entire scheme was a scam, not properly or ethically executed. I find out differently 6 weeks later that there IS a Cancellation Period, and wondered why she told me tthe deal was IRREVOCABLE. OH – I KNOW…so I wouldn't try to cancel and miss my cancellation period by the time I might find out. What she doesn't realize is this – I can use the SAME recording she made to protect herself and the company against her and the company for lying about the cancellation policy.

    Lastly but not THE last thing about them and their portrayal of what you are getting…HOA fees are yearly but you are told they are incremental and part of your monthly mortgage. Next, that yearly means pay total up front, and no residential entity does that. But the real kicker in my case was this – my HOA fees were put on their MasterCard as part of total down payment. THEN I get a billing statement saying I will owe 2015 HOA fees IN FULL in January, for a much larger amount. So the newest question is…what was that I already charged to their credit card to cover my total down payment? Can't charge me TWICE, and the 'so-called' contract shows mine paid already. I was really led to believe this was a real opportunity. I forgot about Eve…she thought that, too, when the Master Liar approached her in the Garden.

  3. Jerseylime says:

    The bottom line is, I will be paying almost 5,000 for the chance to stay in a Las Vegas hotel for one week every two years. I have also decided to no longer pay, there is no more I can do. It seems that I have a share of nothing. The collections agency is calling me at least 6 time per day from 8 am to 9 pm. but there is nothing I can do, I see a lot of stories but no solutions as of yet. There are obviously thousands of us that have been duped, what can we do?

  4. Beverly Brewer says:

    Would like very much to join class action law suit against Westgate Resort.. Maintiance fees keep going up and for the past 3 years could not get it when I wanted, but if I called the resort in Gatlinburg I could rent it. What they are doing is selling and then instead of owners being able to use it they are renting them out and making more money and the owner is left out in the cold. I have even tried 3 months in advance to book and still can not get it. I have owned since 2001 and have use it about 5 to 7 times. Thanks

    • lets do it this is a scam!

    • Christina says:

      I too was duped into the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort. We are still paying on it and we “bought” in 2006. We were flat out lied to! The maintiance fees have gone up almost every year and none of what we were promised has come to pass. We also have trouble booking our red (anytime?) week. but if we call there is always something for rent to the general public but not for us the owners!! Please help us get out of this money pit!

      • I was duped into buying a bi yearly week in FL in 2010 while on a visit to Orlando. I payed for 3 years and never used it again. The only way out was to STOP PAYING (which was scary). They sent multiple letters from collection agencies but nothing every showed on my credit report. After six months or more of not paying and ignoring phone calls and letters, I spoke with someone and told them that I could not afford it and that I wanted out. I told them to send me a deed in liou of Forclosure and I would sign the week back over to them. I ended up having to pay $300 to do this but once it was done was able to wash my hands of this company forever. I ended up losing all the money paid in, but I chalked it up to a hard life lesson. Again, NOTHING every showed on my credit report regardless of the threats.

    • The owners can only book their week up to 11 months in advance, non-owners can book over two years in advance. We own two rooms in the grand on the top of the mountain but every time I try to book a week, even six months in advance ether they have no rooms available or we have to take a smaller room that what we bought.

  5. Barbara Kooi says:

    We’ve been trying sell my timeshare since 1999. That’s a joke. The only response I get are from people who want to sell it for an UPFRONT FEE – which we know is illegal but back then we didn’t know. So of course we paid just to be able to get rid of it. Another problem is trying to get a resort to stay at. Nothing seems to ever be available when We want to go. We are tired of working around their schedule. But now we are at the point where we would rather Deed it Back to the Resort but that’s another problem. More money to give to them which is not right. We would give back the resort for nothing but we have to pay to do this. Now tell me this is not fraudulent. Also we are retiring and would like some peaceful years ahead of us and get rid of this Rock of a problem. They deserve to go into Bankruptcy.

  6. Socorro Fernandez says:

    I want to join a class action law suit against Westgate Resort.They lie about everything and now I think they pay people to make believe they buy timeshare so other people join them. Maybe actors and actresses. I am not paying them the maintenance fee anymore, I have been paying but not sing my week because every time I tried to vacation in Orlando they said it was to late, although they said I could call 30 days before using my week. Maintenance fee was around $300 now is around $800 but they said it will not go up that much. They said it will be easy to sell or rent my high season week, another lie, nobody want it because maintenance is to expensive and for less than $800 they could stay at Disney Hotel for a whole week including a van. Please let me join the class action law suit. Thanks

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