The state has filed criminal charges against a Virginia developer accused of bilking more than a thousand people out of money for time-share housing in Ocean City resorts.
In a two-count criminal information filed last week in Worcester County Circuit Court, Harold Lloyd Hensley is charged with stealing or misappropriating more than $4 million from time-share customers between 1986 and 1990.
In some cases, customers who thought they were buying time-shares through Hensley's Alexandria, Va., real estate operation ended up with deeds still encumbered with liens for several thousand dollars, according to the criminal information.
In other cases, Hensley is charged with misappropriating more than $2.2 million that time-share purchases paid to his Virginia credit company.
In all, Hensley is accused of stealing money from a total of 1,054 people, according to the criminal information.
The state revoked Hensley's real estate license in January 1990, after complaints began flowing in. State lawyers have been able to help many of Hensley's customers gain deeds to their time-share properties.
But the state has been less successful in clearing liens against homeowners whose time shares came with unexpected legal encumbrances.
Hensley is scheduled to be arraigned in Worcester County Circuit Court May 29, according to Assistant Attorney General Julia P. Davis.
The thefts allegedly involved time-share properties at eight developments in Ocean City: The Point on the Bay, Atlantic Resorts, Sandy Square, The Waves, St. Tropez, Ocean High, Ocean Time and the Bay Club.
In time-share arrangements, purchasers buy the use of a property for a specific period -- typically a week every year. The owner can sell the time-share interval in much the same way an owner would sell a home or condominium.