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  • Return-A-Pet Scam Preys On Victims Of Lost Pets

    It’s annual pet scammer week! That’s a lie. But it sure feels like it. Eric Stein was charged with running an investment scam through Return-A-Pet LLC. Return-A-Pet was a New York company that allegedly facilitated the return...

    • Posted January 27, 2012
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  • BBB Warns Of Phony Puppy Purchases

    As an avid animal lover I believe there’s a special place in hell for pet scammers. No, not people that scam your pets, people that are scammer prospective pet buyers. I will refrain from getting on my...

    • Posted January 27, 2012
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  • Super Bowl Scams On The Rise

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL…. scams? The Better Business Bureau (BBB) publicly announced a warning to consumers this week to be on high alert for super bowl scams; specifically knock-off team jerseys, counterfeit memorabilia and phony...

    • Posted January 26, 2012
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  • Consumer Warning: Bureau Of Prescription Health Charging For Free Assistance

    If you’ve been doing business or contemplating doing business with the Missouri-based Bureau of Prescription Health the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers to avoid this company. The Bureau of Prescription Health sounds like a trustworthy...

    • Posted January 26, 2012
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  • Tax Refund Check Cashing Scheme Hits Southern Florida

    As tax season rolls around it’s no surprise to see tax refund check cashing schemes arising in the news. Announced Monday was the filing of a criminal Information charging defendants Wilson Lau, and his wife, Kate Yuee...

    • Posted January 26, 2012
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  • FTC Halts Fake News Sites About Deceitful Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

    We’ve covered the deceitful acai berry weight-loss products over the past year on our site (see here, here and here). It was announced on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stopped six operators from using...

    • Posted January 26, 2012
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  • Raleigh Native Indicted In Connection With Fraud And Extortion

    The former President of Encap Golf Holdings LLC (“Encap”), William Gauger III, was indicted this week for his participation in a scheme to extort approximately $100,000 from a financial consultant and a fraudulent invoicing scheme relating to...

    • Posted January 25, 2012
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  • Whole Bakers’ Bread And Butter Is Fraud

    Whole Bakers owner, Patricia “Patty” Stewart, was sentenced yesterday to the statutory maximum of 60 months in federal prison for running an investment fraud scheme. The scheme defrauded investors, including elderly Texas citizens, of more than $2...

    • Posted January 25, 2012
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  • A 25 Count Indictment For Investment Scheme Fraudster Announced

    A federal grand jury in Pheonix returned a 25 count indictment against Gerald Lee Kelly on four counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of money laundering and five counts of structuring financial...

    • Posted January 25, 2012
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  • Ways to Save Money for Frugal Living While Having Fun and a Budget

    You don’t need to be a financial genius or fiscally sound in order to save money. In fact, anyone can save! Anyone with the ability and willingness to save can be a master saver. Taking a few...

    • Posted January 24, 2012
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  • Final MTA Debt Collection Fraudster Pleads Guilty

    The last defendant in the MTA debt collection scheme has pleaded guilty. Paul Anthony Vasquez pleaded guilty on January 17, 2012 to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering. Vasquez also agreed to pay...

    • Posted January 24, 2012
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  • Corrupt Criminal Club: Member’s Only

    On Wednesday of last week word broke about the largest insider trading scheme involving single stock charged to date. Three defendants have pled guilty and are cooperating with the government’s investigating a scheme that allegedly netted more...

    • Posted January 24, 2012
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  • Investment Fraudster Defrauds Over 200 Out Of $14 Million

    Bradley Stark, the fraudster defendant who represented himself at trail was convicted by a federal jury for deceiving investors about an investment scheme that involved more than 200 victims and more than $14 million. Following Stark’s five-day...

    • Posted January 23, 2012
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  • Computer Programmer Charged With Stealing Software Code From Federal Reserve Bank

    A complaint unsealed last Wednesday in Manhattan federal court charged Bo Zhang, a computer programmer, with stealing proprietary software code from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where Zhang worked as a contract employee. Janice Fedarcyk,...

    • Posted January 23, 2012
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  • Hells Angel Commits Mortgage Fraud For Marijuana Grow House

    In September I covered a story about two leaders of the Hells Angels that had been accused of mortgage fraud. A mortgage broker in the San Francisco bay area was charged with conspiracy to arrange more than...

    • Posted January 23, 2012
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  • Timeshare Telemarking Fraudster Sentenced

    It was announced on January 9, 2012 that Jennifer Kirk was sentenced to 188 months (almost 16 years) in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud when Kirk victimized consumers in a timeshare telemarking scam....

    • Posted January 18, 2012
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  • Two Plead Guilty To $1 Million Wire Fraud

    Two New Jersey men have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scam that used phony identification documents to open multiple checking accounts to launder and steal more than $1 million. The two men, Abiatu Umah and...

    • Posted January 16, 2012
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  • Friday The 13th: Unlucky For Fraudsters, Lucky For Potential Victims

    Those that are superstitious often view Friday the 13th as an unlucky day. This past friday, January 13th, members of an identity theft ring received some unlucky news when they were sentenced to prison. Contrary to superstition,...

    • Posted January 16, 2012
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  • FTC Charges Settled By CVS After Deceptive Prescription Pricing For Seniors And Disabled Consumers

    Stories like this scare me. Especially when I have family that utilizes these pharmacies and participates in the Medicare program. If you’re using Part D prescription drugs from CVS, read on…. It was announced late last week...

    • Posted January 16, 2012
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  • Ponzi Schemes Are The New Black

    Thirteen days into the year and I feel like all I’ve written about is Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme. Today I bring to you the sentencing of Jenifer Devine, the woman who owned a purported wholesale merchandise...

    • Posted January 13, 2012
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  • Contractors Beware! $99 Advance Fee Job Scam

    It was announced yesterday that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is alerting contractors across the country to be on the look out for telephone solicitors attempting to convince them to sign up for an online program that...

    • Posted January 12, 2012
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  • YachtOne Fraudster Pleads Guilty To Yacht-Investment Scam

    On January 6, 2012, Alton Milton pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a yacht-investment scam and could face between 27 and 33 months in prison with three years of supervised release and ordered to pay...

    • Posted January 12, 2012
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  • Multi-Billion Dollar Securities Scam Surfacing On LinkedIn

    As of November 3, 2011 more than 135 million professionals around the world utilize LinkedIn.com and more than 14 million students and recent college graduates around the world are LinkedIn members as of October 2011 (Source). Many...

    • Posted January 11, 2012
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  • Largest Recruiter Of Shapiro’s $930 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced

    Sydney Jack Williams of Naples, Florida was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison for failing to report more than $12 million to the IRS in related commissions received in Nevin Shapiro’s $930 million...

    • Posted January 11, 2012
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  • Romanian Citizen Busted For $1.5 Million Fraud Ring Of HSBC Customers

    Last Thursday it was announced that Laurentiu Ilian Bulat was arrested yesterday for allegedly participating in a fraud ring that stole at least $1.5 million from HSBC customer bank accounts by installing “skimming” devices on more than...

    • Posted January 10, 2012
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  • Fraudster Sentenced After Defrauding Victims In Investment Fraud

    James DeAngelis was sentenced last week to 57 months in prison for participation in a fraud investment scheme where he defrauded more than 15 victims out of $800,000. In May of 2011 DeAngelis pled guilty to conspiracy...

    • Posted January 10, 2012
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  • Your 2012 New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Get Scammed!

    History repeats itself. Fact. George Santayana once stated, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This fact holds true with every aspect of one’s life, especially in one’s financial life. And especially in...

    • Posted January 9, 2012
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  • Envelope Please! The Top Ten Scams Of 2011 Are In!

    Every year the Better Business Bureau investigates hundreds of thousands of scams, from the novel to the old. Recently they compiled and published a list of the top ten scams of 2011 including nine major categories and...

    • Posted January 6, 2012
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  • Holy Fraud, Batman! Literally…

    Yesterday, an Ohio resident was indicted for allegedly engaging in a fraud scheme that promised to fund more than $500 million in mortgage loans to around 20 churches and a dozen small businesses across the country. The...

    • Posted January 6, 2012
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  • Four Israeli Residents Charged With Phony Lottery Prize Scheme Extradited To US

    It was recently announced that four defendants have been extradited from Israel on charges relating to their participation in multiple lottery telemarketing fraud schemes. The schemes targeted elderly victims in the United States and netted millions of...

    • Posted January 6, 2012
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  • ConsumerCellular Targets Retired Citizens With Affordable Cell Phone Plans And Senior Friendly Telephones

    A few weeks ago Steve came to me and said, “hey, do you think you could find the cheapest cell phone service for someone that talks less than 120 minutes a month using the site ConsumerCellular.com?” “Of...

    • Posted January 5, 2012
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  • FTC Bans Landmark Clearing From Using Remotely Created Payment Orders

    It was announced today that a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action has banned a payment processor from using a new payment method to debit accounts after allegedly debiting millions from consumers’ bank accounts without their consent. Payment...

    • Posted January 5, 2012
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  • Investment Advisor Defrauds Clients Out Of Retirement Funds

    Apparently an Illinois investment advisor, Steven Salutric, engaged in an investment fraud that swindled the retirement savings of 10 elderly clients to lose more than $4.26 million. Salutric was charged with one count wire fraud in a...

    • Posted January 5, 2012
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  • Don’t Spit In That Cop’s Burger – MA State Trooper Arrested For Extortion

    Yesterday Massachusetts State Trooper, John Analetto, was charged with extortion and loansharking relating charges including the collection of extension of credit by extortionate means. The complaint alleges that between Oct. 2011 to present, Analetto loaned money to...

    • Posted January 4, 2012
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  • Six Hundred Out Of $74 Million In Ponzi Scheme

    Douglas Vaughan faces 10 to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire and mail fraud charges that involved his operation of a “Ponzi” scheme where he defrauded around 600 investors of more than $74 million....

    • Posted January 4, 2012
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  • Fraudster Deported Back To United States To Face $3.2 Million Fraud Charges

    This past New Year’s weekend Joseph Randall Medcalf was deported by Panama officials back to the United States after being charged with defrauding investors of $3.2 million. Medcalf fled the country back in 2008 after filing for...

    • Posted January 4, 2012
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  • Attorney Sentenced In $50 Million Bank Fraud

    Kevin Harold Lewis was sentenced to 121 months incarceration to be followed by three years of supervised release for bank fraud. Lewis was also ordered to pay $33,826,326 in restitution. An additional amount of restitution will be...

    • Posted December 30, 2011
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  • AmBanc, Commercial Capital Banc and U.S. Underwriting Fraud Scheme

    Last month the United States Attorney’s Office announced that James France was indicted for wire wire fraud in connection with an advance fee scheme. Apparently, France held himself out as being in the business of commercial lending,...

    • Posted December 30, 2011
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  • Houston Physician Gets 11 Years In Prison – AGAIN

    Dr. Ira Klein, a physician in Houston, Texas, was sentenced in 2007 to federal prison for defrauding insurance companies of more than $10 million. He, like so many criminals before him, has appeared in federal court again...

    • Posted December 30, 2011
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  • Woman Sentenced For Stealing Identities Of Student Loan Borrowers

    Janika Fernae Bates, a resident of Alabama, was sentenced today in the Middle District of Alabama to 94 months in federal prison for stealing identities of student loan borrowers and providing them to a co-conspirator, who used...

    • Posted December 29, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 29, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 29, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 29, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 28, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 28, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 27, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 27, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 26, 2011
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  • 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”...

    • Posted December 26, 2011
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  • 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...

    • Posted December 26, 2011
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