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Houston Couple Indicted in Debt Relief Scheme to Defraud Consumers

Nathaniel Chilo, aka Nathaniel O’Neil, 22, and his girlfriend Savannah Rae Williams, 23, both of Houston, have been indicted for a scheme involving fraudulent representations about debt settlements reached with creditors and using for their own benefit the money wired to them to pay those settlements, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

The nine-count indictment alleging conspiracy and wire fraud was returned today. Both Chilo and Williams are expected to appear in federal court for an initial appearance in the near future.

The indictment alleges Chilo operated debt relief businesses in the Houston area under several different names including, but not limited to, Universal Restoration and C & N Recovery. None of these businesses were licensed by the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner. From approximately September 2011 through on or about Nov. 21, 2011, Chilo and Williams did knowingly execute a scheme which consisted essentially of a plan to obtain money from individuals throughout the United States by falsely representing that Universal Restoration and C & N Recovery could provide debt relief, according to the indictment.

Chilo and Williams allegedly sent fraudulent letters alleging that credit card debt settlement offers had been negotiated and, according to the indictment, they used the funds for their own personal benefit that were received from individuals seeking debt relief.

The indictment further contends that Chilo concealed the fact that he had been indicted on charges of mail fraud and wire fraud and was on conditions of release which prohibited him from having a job in credit repair, credit counseling, credit accounts, credit history and credit restoration. In that case, he and his father – Jeffery Wayne O’Neil, 63, of Houston – are alleged to have perpetrated a scheme which consisted essentially of a plan to obtain money from individuals by representing that in exchange for paying money for entering into various programs they offered, they could provide debt relief in the form of credit card debt, tax liens, mortgage foreclosure and judgments. Chilo is currently in custody awaiting trial on that case which is set for Feb. 21, 2012.

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A conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000. Williams and Chilo also face 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000 for each of the eight counts of wire fraud.

The indictment also contains a notice of forfeiture and seeks forfeiture of $67,950.74, the alleged proceeds of the fraud.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Braddock. – Source

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