TIMESHARE TO TIME INSIDE
PALMER MADE MOST OF HIS FORTUNE IN AN ELABORATE TIMESHARE FRAUD WITH MORE THAN 17,000 VICTIMS
When Palmer was a fugitive in Tenerife, refusing to return to the UK to face Brink’s Mat charges, he saw an opportunity to develop the island into a timeshare mecca. Landowners on the island were persuaded after seeing the millions of pounds made in the Spanish costas. “His notoriety seemed to help,” wrote Marnie Palmer. He bought three derelict sites for £ 10,000 each and started to build.
After being acquitted of his Brink’s Mat charges, he returned to Tenerife. He had a dedicated sales team of more than 100 who were selling properties before they were even built, and many were earning up to £ 4,000 commission a day to persuade naive pensioners to sign for nonexistent properties.
Palmer had more than 100 companies working around the globe, transferring money between them. “At the peak of his offending, Palmer was said to be running a mafia- style firm feared throughout the island,” wrote biographer Tom Morgan.
17,000 people were victims of his timeshare fraud. He was eventually charged with eight counts of timeshare fraud worth £ 15 million. He represented himself in court, losing the case, and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
When he returned to Tenerife, it was a different island, run by Eastern European gangs. And in 2006 two of his closest friends were ambushed and murdered.
Nine years later, Palmer would meet his own death. He had a long list of enemies.