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Schmitt sues former NFL player over local business

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office filed suit against a former NFL player who previously operated a timeshare exit business in Springfield. Steve Martin, the defendant, claims he’s already working with customers to resolve the matter.

The suit against Martin and Martin Management Group LLC was filed in Platte County, where the business now operates in Parkville, near Kansas City, according to a court document. Martin, who formerly operated Martin Management Group in Springfield with his brother, David, played for multiple teams, most recently the Minnesota Vikings, during his 1996-04 career in the NFL, according to the league’s website.

In the suit, Schmitt’s office alleges employees of Martin Management Group, at the direction of Martin, pledged to help customers exit their timeshares but ultimately did not deliver the promised services. Among the allegations in the suit, Martin Management Group is accused of directing customers to pay timeshare maintenance expenses to them — under the premise they were no longer necessary — resulting in debt owed to the timeshare holding companies, according to a news release.

“As Missouri’s attorney general, it’s my duty to protect consumers and hold fraudulent companies, including timeshare exit companies, accountable for their actions. If anyone has been defrauded by Martin Management or a timeshare exit company, we want to hear from you,” Schmitt said in the release.

Reached this morning, Martin said Martin Management Group has been in talks with the attorney general’s office for two years and has been working with customers who have lodged complaints.

Martin added he has litigation in the works against timeshare companies that he declined to name. He said that’s resulted in “a lot of opposition from banks and with the legal systems, as well. The legal system pretty much protects the timeshare company.”

“We’ve always been trying to do what’s right,” he said. “We went from just doing a business that was helping people get relief to turning more into a Robin Hood, where we found ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

Martin said his brother, David, died in 2018, and that he was the leader of the timeshare exit side of the Martin Management Group operations. David lived in Springfield, while Steve lived in Kansas City, the latter brother said.

“I don’t know how to settle timeshares. That’s what he did,” Steve Martin said. “We’re trying to get right with our clients first.”


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