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Scams in the News

Six Required To Pay Millions From “U.S. Homeowners Relief” Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced they are requiring “U.S. Homeowners Relief” defendants to pay millions in their settlement along with banning them from the debt and mortgage relief business. The FTC had charged six defendants (that have agreed to settle) in the participation of a fraudulent mortgage modifications and foreclosure relief scheme. The settlement orders require five defendants to ... Read More »

Lebanese Financial Institutions Linked to Hizballah Allegedly Wired Over $300 Million Into The United States In Money Laundering Scheme

Announced earlier last week was the filing of a civil money-laundering and in rem forfeiture complaint alleging a massive, international scheme in which Lebanese financial institutions, including a bank and two exchange houses linked to Hizballah, used the U.S. financial system to launder narcotics trafficking and other criminal proceeds through West Africa and back into Lebanon. As part of the ... Read More »

Marketers Banned Of So-Called “Hydro-Assist Fuel Cell” From Selling Fuel Economy Products

The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement putting a stop to the phony claims of marketers who told consumers their fuel economy device could boost automobile gas mileage by at least 50 percent and “turn any vehicle into a hybrid.” The settlement bans marketers of the so-called “Hydro-Assist Fuel Cell” from selling fuel economy products. According to the FTC’s complaint ... Read More »

Absolute Poker Payment Processor Pleads Guilty To Fraud

Brent Beckley, the director of payment processing for Absolute Poker, pled guilty this month in Manhattan federal court to conspiracy to engage in unlawful internet gambling and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to deceive U.S. banks and financial institutions, using them to process tens of millions of dollars in payments for Absolute ... Read More »

East Coast Credit Card Fraud Ringleader Gets 12 Years In Prison

An identity thief was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in prison for managing and east coast credit card fraud ring. Jonathan Oliveras, used counterfeit credit cards encoded with stolen account information up and down the East Coast of the United States and has been sentenced for this crime. In addition to his 12 year prison term, Oliveras must ... Read More »

Telelmarketers Charged With Illegal Robocalling By FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against a telemarketing operation that allegedly made illegal robocalls, called phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and masked Caller ID information, in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The FTC’s complaint seeks to make the defendants pay civil penalties and stop the illegal calls. The action is part of ... Read More »

Defendants In Payday Lending Case To Pay More Than $294,000 For Illegal Garnishment Of Consumers’ Paychecks

Defendants in a payday lending case have been ordered to pay more than $294,000 for illegal garnishment of consumers’ paychecks. A federal court has ordered, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one of the individuals behind a payday lending scheme and two companies he controlled to pay $294,536 for illegally trying to garnish borrowers’ wages, and for ... Read More »

Americall Will Pay $500,000 To Settle FTC Charges

Americall, an Illinois-based telemarketing firm will pay $500,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it interfered with consumers’ requests to be placed on company-specific do not call lists and transmitted deceptive Caller ID names. The FTC alleged that Americall Group, Inc violated the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) in it’s efforts to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls. ... Read More »

Fraud Scheme Related to the World Trade Center Site Clean-Up

A trucking company’s owners have been indicted on embezzlement, tax evasion and million dollar fraud charges related to the World Trade Center site clean-up. A thirty-one count indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn this month charging trucking company owners Gerardo P. Fusella and Vincent J. Fusella, Jr., with crimes including embezzlement, mail fraud and tax charges. As alleged ... Read More »

The Rapid Expansion of Internet Domain Name System Could Lead To More Online Fraud

Earlier in December the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) expressing concern that the organization’s plan to dramatically expand the domain name system could leave consumers more vulnerable to online fraud and undermine law enforcers’ ability to track down online scammers. ICANN is the organization that oversees Internet domain ... Read More »

Florida’s Foreclosure Solution Specialists Operators Charged With Fraud

Earlier this month it was announced that Lisa Wright, Cathy Saffer and Carrington Coombs were all charged with fraud in a Florida foreclosure rescure scheme. Wright and Saffer were charged with conspiracy to defraud homeowners and banks in a foreclosure rescue scheme. Coombs, a certified public accountant, was also charged as a participant in the scheme. A federal grand jury ... Read More »

Two More Charged In Rothstein Billion Dollar Fraud Scheme

On the first of this month it was announced that two more Rothstein Associates were charged in connection with the billion dollar fraud scheme. Announced was the filing of charges against William Boockvor and Marybeth Feiss for conspiring to commit crimes through the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Scott W. Rothstein, called Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, ... Read More »

102-Count Indictment Charges 10 Ohio Men To Fraud, Fraud And More Fraud

On December 13, 2011 it was announced that a federal grand jury returned a 102-count indictment against ten Ohio men (ages ranging from 21 to 33) with crimes of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Clifford J. Smith (“CJ”), Musa Nassar, Jon Foster, Donte Stewart, Billy St. Clair, Adam Bailey, Tyme Hammond, Kevin ... Read More »

Owner of Advertising Investment Companies Pleads Guilty To $6.2 Million Fraud Scheme

In early December Edward Lawson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a $6.2 million fraudulent investment scheme. According to his plea, Lawson was the president of “Automated Revenue Creation LLC” and “Guaranteed Results Advertising, LLC” (collectively, GRA). GRA’s investment literature stated that it was in the business of providing advertising through “Narrow Cast television commercials,” purportedly consisting of ... Read More »

Founder of Internet Consumer Electronics Company Sentenced For Fraud

Back in May of 2008 David Whitaker pled guilty to an information charging him with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and commercial bribery to which Whitaker admitted to defrauding around 83 business account customers and a credit card processing company of over $10 million. Earlier this month he was finally sentenced to 70 months in federal ... Read More »

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