Feds slash $2.7 million online loan-fraud scheme
- 11 July, 2012 15:38
A crime ring using fake websites and online ads to lure thousands of victims into their loan-fraud scheme that robbed them of millions of dollars has been disrupted by federal authorities.
IN PICTURES: The year in security mischief-making
A federal grand jury in Buffalo yesterday returned a 62-count indictment against 32 defendants residing in Michigan, New York and Canada accused of defrauding what could be more than 2,000 victims who lost $2.7 million in a loan-fraud scheme carried out since 2005. It was all based on fake Internet advertising that often mimicked the names of actual financial firms to make it seem legitimate.
Federal authorities yesterday said they've arrested 10 of the defendants, though others are at large, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and launder money.
"As a result of this investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, a major international criminal network has been disrupted," said John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whose Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) division in Buffalo, N.Y. went after the online crime ring with help from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of New York.
The ring allegedly fooled loan applicants through numerous websites and search engines to get them to apply for loans, then told them they were approved, then directed them to make an initial security deposit payment through Western Union to money couriers so the crooks could get the victim's funds. But the victims never received loans or refunds of their money.
When victims realized they had been scammed, the crime ring operating the websites abandoned the old sites for new fictional companies, with online listings that included fake addresses.
The defendants named in the indictment are: Brynell Jones, 31, of Detroit; Shardonya Fletcher, 26, of Detroit; Gerri Britton, 40, of Wyandotte, Mich; Candice McGraw, 22, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sherece Payne, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Deborah Boshears, 40, of Wyandotte, Mich.; Ashely Cain, 21, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Luna Noncent, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Kevin Chenevare, 33, of Wyandotte, Mich; and Dianne Jaichon, 36, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
The U.S. government is seeking the arrest of other defendants in Canada under international treaties, and all the defendants could face 20 years in prison or more, a $250,000 fine and other penalties, if convicted in federal court. One defendant has already pleaded guilty to wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced in August.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.
Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
- Mobile Load - Performance Testing for Mobile Applications
- IDC: Delivering Customer Value with Enterprise Flash Deployments
- Choice and Control – Considerations for Developing Enterprise Cloud Strategies
- CSO Spotlight: Security-as-a-Service Gaining Popularity
- Accelerate Cloud and Composite Application Delivery
Why change management doesn’t work
Larry Page wants to see your medical records
Dual-Persona Smartphones Not a BYOD Panacea
After two-year hiatus, EFF accepts bitcoin donations again
CIOs struggle to deliver timely mobile business apps: survey
Hybrid IT Service Management: A Requirement for Virtualisation and Cloud Computing
When competition is tough and resources are limited, corporate leaders are depending on growing their existing capabilities in order to grow their business. Information technology can be a unique catalyst for business growth, delivering a competitive advantage when creatively applied to established and emerging problems. Read more on what trends are accelerating the value of IT.
Pathways Advanced ICT Leadership Development Program Course Outline and Big 6 2013
Developed by the CIO executive Council in conjunction with Rob Livingstone Advisory, Pathways Advanced is a 12-month CIO delivered, small group, mentor based professional leadership development program. Pathways Advanced brings together best practice, thought leadership and business insights for today’s most promising ICT professionals
NetApp FAS6240 Clustered SAN Champion of Champions
Storage systems today must match agility with diversified I/O performance to satisfy an enterprise’s changing needs. In their review, Silverton Consulting ranks the NetApp FAS6240 Clustered SAN, as an Enterprise OLTP “Champion of Champions.” Read the results of their benchmark testing and the features that impressed them the most.