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Scams in the News

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Commit Fraud and Fail Again : Defrauding From Behind Bars

Three defendants have been sentenced to federal prison on charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft; one man committing fraud from prison. According to United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In late January 2011, Samantha Johnson stole the wallet of a 93-year-old woman while she was shopping at a retail establishment ... Read More »

    Embezzled, Diverted And Stolen Funds Used To Pay For Adult Entertainment

    The guilty plea of vice present and co-operater of Coral Mortgage Bankers Corporation’s University City office, Matthew Kent, was announced earlier this month by the United States Attorney’s Office. According to court documents, between May 2007 and December 31, 2010, Kent, his partner in Coral Mortgage, David Rubin and Joshua Gould, formerly of Woodbury Financial, embezzled approximately $1,500,000 from a ... Read More »

      Mother Sentenced To Almost 6 Years Jail Time In Family Fraud Affair

      Earlier this year Janice Edwina Demmitt was convicted of the federal felony offenses charged in a 27-count indictment against her and her son, Timothy Fry. At trial, Demmitt was convicted on on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, eight counts of wire fraud and 11 counts of money laundering. Her son, Fry, whom plead guilty to one count ... Read More »

        Defendants Arrested In Conjunction With $700,000 Health Care Fraud

        Earlier this month three people, Ovsanna Agopian (aka Joanna Ovsanna / Joanna Smbatyan / Ovsanna Agopian), Boghos Babadjanian and Tolulope Labeodan, were charged in a federal indictment with various offenses related to their involvement in the operation of Euless Healthcare Corporation. The 10-count indictment charges each defendant with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and nine substantive ... Read More »

          CPA Pleads Guilty In Connection With $670 Million Fraud Scheme

          Certified public accountant (CPA) and alleged outside auditor for Provident Capital Indemnity (PCI), Jorge Luis Castillo, plead guilty last week for his role in a $670 million fraud scheme effecting victims across the country and abroad. Castillo plead guilty to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. According to a ... Read More »

            Missouri Mayor Sentenced For Fraud, Embezzlement And Witness Tampering

            Earlier this month the United States Attorney’s Office announced that Kinloch, Missouri’s Mayor Keith Conway was being sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $62,429 on charges of using the city’s funds to pay personal expenses, fund personal travel, purchase a Florida vacation condo timeshare (sorry, no jail clause in those puppies!), and attempting to ... Read More »

              Hacking, Blackmailing And Idiocy: How Not To Get A Job From Marriott

              Did you hear the one about Hungarian who hacked Marriott’s computers and demanded employment? No? It’s a real doozy. Hungarian citizen, Attila Nemeth, has plead guilty to transmitting a malicious code to Marriott International Corporation (Marriott) computers and threatened to reveal confidential information obtained within the company’s computers unless Marriott offered him a job. I’m not sure how job interviews ... Read More »

                FTC Continues TSR Crack Down

                As part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal pre-recorded robocalls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking action against an operation that allegedly helped clients make illegal robocalls, call phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, and mask Caller ID information, in violation of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. This conduct generated tens of thousands ... Read More »

                  The Misbranding of Vioxx Results In A Nearly $1 Billion Resolution

                  Last week the Justice Department announced that Merck, Sharp, & Dohme, an American pharmaceutical company, has agreed to resolve criminal charges and civil claims in relation to their promotion and marketing of the painkiller, Vioxx (rofecoxib) by paying $950 million. Yes, you read that right; just shy of $1 billion. Under the resolution terms, Mereck will plead guilty to a ... Read More »

                    Arizona Telemarking Scam Leaves 5,000 Out Of Over $6.3 Million

                    Earlier this month word broke when a complaint was issued against four Arizona LLCs and 11 Arizonians that Arizona telemarketers had defrauded almost 5,000 people out of over $6.3 million. These criminals conducted a scam that used victims’ credit-card limits to determine how much to charge them in setting up their very own “web mall” business that they would receive ... Read More »

                      Considering Purchasing A Work-At-Home Program? The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule Is Here To Help

                      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Business Opportunity Rule has been approved for changes that will ensure consumers have information needed when considering buying a “work-at-home” program or other similar business opportunities. Now simplified are the disclosures that business opportunity sellers must provide to prospective buyers. The disclosures will help consumers considering a purchase of such a program to asses the ... Read More »

                        Holy Craigslist Scam, Batman! Colorado, Beware!

                        A new fake employment scheme has hit Craigslist and residents of Colorado. Job seekers and the unemployed are being targeted and lured into a high-paying job offer but end up only handing over personal information. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned that there is a posting in Craigslist that offers call center jobs (paying $18.50 an hour) in downtown ... Read More »

                          The BBB’s Tips To Avoid Smishing

                          The Better Business Bureau issued an new press alert this week to alert consumers about ways to avoid being “smished” by scammers. “Smishing” is a new term used when scammers are using text messages to bait consumers into divulging personal information, similar to “phishing” telephone calls. One form of the scam tricks consumers into believing their bank accounts have been ... Read More »

                            Fraudulent Treasury Strips Investment Program Results In $4 Million Investor Lost

                            It was announced this week that Tyrone Gilliams, Jr., was indicted on charges of securities and wire fraud for operating a fraudulent United States Treasury Strips investment program. Treasury Strips are securities derived from United States Treasury Bonds. Gilliams is the owner of TL Gilliams, LLC. In the summer of 2010, Gilliams personally solicited $4 million dollars from an investor ... Read More »

                              Former President And Finance Director Of The Speculated US Posterscope Accused Of A $20 Million Accounting Fraud

                              Earlier this month it was announced that the former president and finance director of one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies (speculated to be US Posterscope), have been accused of engaging in a five year long $19.75 million accounting fraud. Allegedly the men made it appear that their company was meeting certain performance targets when it wasn’t so that ... Read More »

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