Peruvian Man Charged with Leading Conspiracy to Defraud and Extort Spanish-Speaking Consumers through Call Centers

FBI

A resident of Lima, Peru, was indicted by a Miami grand jury on fraud and attempted extortion charges for allegedly operating call centers that lied to and threatened Spanish-speaking victims in the United States, convincing them to pay fraudulent settlements.  Cesar Luis Kou Reyna, 40, was charged in a 33-count indictment with conspiracy, mail fraud, … Read more

Two New York Salesmen Sentenced to Prison in Business Opportunity Fraud Scheme

Scheme Defrauded More than 330 Victims Across the Country A federal judge in the Eastern District of New York sentenced two sales representatives to prison today for their roles in a vending machine business opportunity fraud scheme, the Department of Justice announced today.  Howard S. Strauss, 66, of Jericho, New York, was sentenced to serve … Read more

Hummingbird Credit Counseling Sues the United States of America

Hummingbird Credit Counseling and Education has filed suit against Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice, and Executive Office of United States Trustee. This suit asks for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. This case caught my attention because it’s not often you see a credit counseling company suing the USA and it appears this … Read more

Justice Department Announces Settlement with Plaza Bank of Irvine for Knowingly Facilitating Consumer Fraud

The United States filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today against Plaza Bank of Irvine, California, for knowingly facilitating consumer fraud by permitting a third-party payment processor to make millions of dollars of unauthorized withdrawals from consumer bank accounts on behalf of fraudulent merchants.  To resolve … Read more

Seven Individuals Indicted in Multimillion-Dollar Business Opportunity Fraud Scam

Scheme Victimized More Than 1,000 Individuals throughout the United States The Justice Department announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging seven individuals in connection with a vending machine “business opportunity” that defrauded thousands of victims across the country.  The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in New York City.  The following individuals … Read more

Law Enforcement and Non-Profits Meet to Halt Scams Targeting Specific Groups of Americans

The Justice Department announced today the enhanced collaborations its law enforcement and community partners are taking to stem the tide of fraud schemes directed at certain groups of Americans.  On Wednesday, high ranking officials of the department, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and non-profit community groups met to discuss … Read more

Former Bank of America Vice President in Las Vegas Pleads Guilty to Misapplication of Bank Funds

A former senior vice president of Bank of America (BOA) in Las Vegas pleaded guilty today to misapplication of bank funds in a scheme that led to over $6.4 million in losses to BOA on two business-related loans. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden … Read more

U.S. Citizen Extradited from Costa Rica in Connection with International-Based Business Opportunity Fraud Ventures

A U.S. citizen charged in connection with the operation of a series of fraudulent business opportunities was extradited from Costa Rica to the United States, the Justice Department announced today.  John White was charged in a Nov. 29, 2011, indictment in the Southern District of Florida with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, five … Read more

Jamaican Man First to Be Extradited to Face Fraud Charges in International Lottery Scheme

A 28-year-old man was extradited from Jamaica based on charges that he committed fraud as part of an international lottery scheme against elderly victims in the United States, the Justice Department announced today. Damion Bryan Barrett is charged in a 38-count indictment in the Southern District of Florida with conspiracy and 37 counts of wire … Read more

AFCC Just as Peeved About Uninformed DOJ Position on Debt Settlement

On August 16th I wrote about a Department of Justice blog post about debt settlement that was, let’s politically say, perplexing. Ah what the hell, it was just plain old fucked up. The Department of Justice made some very uninformed statements about debt settlement, like “Fraudulent debt relief companies will often make claims of being … Read more

Department of Justice Makes Very Strange Claims About Debt Settlement & Credit Counseling

A reader brought to my attention today a post by the Department of Justice about debt relief. While I think the intention was to help protect consumers from debt relief scams, in this case they missed the mark entirely. The beginning of their blog post is reasonable and factual when they say, “These companies generally … 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 … Read more

Heartless Criminal Activity In Foreclosure-Related Scam

Last week a man whom operated a foreclosure-rescue scam agreed to plead guilty after collecting $1.6 million from 1,100 distressed homeowners. The man, Frederic Alan Gladle, of Austin, Texas, ran his scam in Los Angeles and elsewhere where he falsely promised the owners of more than a thousand distressed properties that they could indefinitely postpone … 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 … 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 … Read more