Diamond Resorts Files Suit Against Castle Law, Its Principals and Related Entities

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Diamond Resorts International® (“Diamond”) and its affiliated entities,
on August 7, 2017, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, against the Castle Law
Group, PC, a Tennessee professional corporation, and its principal
Judson Phillips, Esq., as well as various affiliated and inter-related
individuals and entities including, among others, William Michael
Keever, Sean Austin, Castle Marketing Group, LLC, and Castle Venture
Group, LLC.

The lawsuit is part of an ongoing effort by Diamond to arrest the
behavior of timeshare “third-party exit companies” (“TPE”) that plague
the industry by preying on unsuspecting timeshare owners. The TPEs
target and manipulate timeshare owners by soliciting services in
exchange for excessive fees. TPE representatives falsely promise to
provide timeshare interest “transfers” and/or “exit” services to
timeshare consumers with regard to the resale of timeshare interests.
Diamond is seeking damages, injunctive relief, and the appointment of a
receiver in connection with the Defendants’ open and intentional
interference with Diamond’s contractual and business relationships, and
also alleges a structured civil conspiracy amongst Defendants,
violations of the Federal Lanham Act, as well as the Tennessee Consumer
Protection Act.

The complaint avers that Castle, along with its related and
inter-related individuals and entities, make false and defamatory
statements against Diamond, and/or Diamond members’ timeshare interests,
using underhanded tactics to dispense misleading information to Diamond
owners and otherwise instruct Diamond timeshare owners to breach their
contracts with Diamond. The complaint sets forth the alleged unlawful
scheme, which was initiated by the formation of the Castle Law Firm.
Austin and Keever are the original architects of the blueprint for the
deceptive strategy that involved the formation of Castle Marketing,
Castle Venture Group and most notably Castle Law, which was concocted by
Austin and Keever to give unwitting timeshare consumers the appearance
of legitimate legal activities, but, in reality, is merely a front for
the nefarious acts put in action by TPEs.

Diamond maintains that the Castle TPE scheme was initially disclosed to
Phillips and was solely designed as an opportunity to make fast money
using unsuspecting timeshare owners as their marks and the vehicle by
which to damage and directly attack Diamond. Phillips was the only
licensed attorney at the inception of Castle Law. Keever served as
Castle’s CEO and Manager while Austin, the mastermind of the operation,
was the COO who closely directed and micro-managed all the affairs of
Castle Law and its subsidiary enterprises.

The complaint further alleges that Keever, along with Phillips and
Austin, utilized Keever’s business background and legal knowledge of
corporate structures to intentionally create several shell entities,
referred to as Castle Affiliates, to funnel monies to these entities, or
otherwise move the ill begotten gains “offshore,” to avoid potential
creditors, like Diamond, and otherwise avoid ultimate liability for
their unscrupulous acts. The lawsuit makes note of Keever, who, in the
presence of others, bragged about his self-proclaimed business acumen
which he maintained would safeguard them all against any potential
claims from litigants “seeking to pierce the corporate veil and access
hidden funds”.

The complaint also alleges that Austin openly proclaimed that if Castle
Law was “attacked” or “sanctioned” they would merely close shop and it
would be inconsequential as most of the money was essentially hidden and
already “offshore” in any event. According to the lawsuit filed by
Diamond, the Defendants’ plan was overt. It was set up to victimize
unsuspecting timeshare owners by providing illusory timeshare
cancellation services and, in turn, deceptively and significantly in
calculated fashion damaging Diamond’s business by virtue of its tortious
interference of Diamond’s contracts with its timeshare owners to the
point of the ultimate destruction of the relationship.

Bud Bennington, Esq. and Glennys Rubin, Esq. of the Florida-based Shutts
& Bowen LLP law firm are serving as national coordinating counsel for
Diamond in addressing the Third Party Exit Company issue. The Complaint
was filed in Nashville, Tennessee, with attorney Eddie Wayland, Esq., of
the King & Ballow law firm, serving as co-lead and local counsel on
behalf of Diamond.

Diamond Resorts International®

Diamond Resorts International® (Diamond Resorts) is a worldwide leader
in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries with a network of
more than 370 vacation destinations located in 35 countries throughout
the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean,
South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

Diamond Resorts International® manages vacation ownership resorts and
sells vacation ownership points that provide members and owners with
Vacations for Life® at over 370 managed and affiliated properties and
cruise itineraries.


Shutts & Bowen, LLP
Bud Bennington, 407-835-6755
Josette Robinson, 212-279-3115 ext. 212