9-11 widow says she was scammed out of $18,000 - KMOV.com

9-11 widow says she was scammed out of $18,000

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Martin Management posted a picture of Donna Hickey on their Facebook page. Credit: KMOV Martin Management posted a picture of Donna Hickey on their Facebook page. Credit: KMOV

(KMOV.com) - A 9-11 widow says she was scammed out of more than $18,000 by a Missouri-based company.

The News 4 Investigates team has learned there are many people with the same complaint locally and across the county.

“Unfortunately I am trusting, I trust, which I am trying not to do anymore,” said Donna Hickey.

Hickey lives in New York State and spoke to News 4 over Skype. She bought five timeshares in Florida, as a way to spend time with her children after the tragedy.

Her husband, Fire Captain Brian Hickey, died on 9-11.

“He was in the south tower, the one that went down first,” she said.

But after a while, the timeshares became a burden.

“I want out, I never use it, I haven't been in there in years,” Donna said.

In 2016, she was contacted by a company called Martin Management Group, operating also with another company.

At a seminar in a hotel back in February, they promised to help her liquidate the timeshares, all she had to do was to pay them $18,000.

She wrote a check from money she got from her husband's pension

“They were going to get me out of my timeshare, clean and dry, clean-cut,” she said.

Martin Management even posted a picture of Donna on their Facebook page. But more than nine months later, they haven’t delivered any services.

“Oh my gosh no. Lip service, over the phone, that's all I got,” Donna said.

Donna has demanded her money back.

“My husband died for this money. This is blood money. This is not money I earned because I go to work. This was part of my children's legacy, from their father,” she said.

Donna isn't the only one. The Better Business Bureau tells News 4 they know of more than a dozen people who say Martin Management isn't delivering

They will get them to sign on the dotted line and then the process takes a lot longer than what they were told in the hotel ballroom.

News 4 reached out to Martin Management by phone and by email but never heard back from them.

Their address from their paperwork goes to a strip mall in Springfield on Google maps.

The Better Business Bureau says it appears they're now operating from a home basement.

“We certainly have been trying to get a hold of them and it's just been fruitless,” said Don O’Brien with the Better Business Bureau.

The problem, though, goes well beyond Martin Management.

The BBB is warning of another timeshare liquidation company too, called Escape Resolutions.

And News 4 Investigates caught up with Joshua McNamara, who just pleaded guilty in federal court last week to a timeshare-related scam.

He didn't want to talk to News 4.

"I'm probably okay on that,” he said.

Donna says she just wants to warn others.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it is, don't do it,” she said.

And she says she wants Martin Management held accountable.

“Oh yeah, I am coming for them. They are not going to hide. We are going to get them out,” she said.

The BBB says if you want out of your timeshare, talk to the resort first.

Then, if you're going to try a timeshare liquidation company, pay with a credit card so you've got some recourse if they don't deliver.

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