Articles Tagged with fraud

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The owner of a North Carolina roofing company is under suspicion of fraud after he allegedly accepted payment from nine different homes for roofing work that he never fulfilled.

34-year-old Ricardo Romero is the owner of Above and Beyond Roofing in Raleigh, NC. Over the past year his company has had complaints filed against it due to customer claims that they contracted Above and Beyond to work on their roofs and after the payment was collected up front the work was never started.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance has been investigating the practices of Above and Beyond and they reported that they have noted a pattern where the company allegedly sent out sales representatives providing free consultations after hailstorms in search of new clients.

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36-year-old James Hensley was the owner and president of Knoxville Auto Brokers in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 2012 until the day he shut his business down last April.

When Hensley closed his doors for good he allegedly left some of the clients of his establishment with financial problems because he accepted trade-in vehicles from them with the understanding that the car dealership would finish paying off any outstanding balances owed on those automobiles. When he did not comply with the contractual agreements to make the payments the original owners were sent bills for the amount that was still owed.

Six months after Knoxville Auto Brokers went out of business Hensley had his license allowing him to sell cars in Tennessee revoked by the state based on charges alleging that he failed to provide a total of 24 titles to the new owners of vehicles that customers had purchased from him.

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A clerk employed at the Long Beach VA was allegedly found in possession of the identities and information belonging to over 1,000 patients of the facility leading to the arrest of the suspect.

On Thursday, on the property of the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center, an employee of the facility was reportedly noticed operating a non-commercial vehicle with commercial license plates on the campus. On-site officers became suspicious when they recognized that the automobile had the wrong type of plate attached, and they ran a check leading them to perform a traffic stop when their search confirmed that the license plate was allegedly not registered to the vehicle to which it was affixed.

When an officer was speaking with the employee, a pill bottle without a label was allegedly seen which caused the officer to further inspect the inside of the vehicle. The personal information, including Social Security numbers, names, and dates of birth of 1,028 patients of the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Health Care System were allegedly found inside the employee’s vehicle. The officer also reported that over $1000 of federal property was also discovered during the search.

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Two Delray Beach men have been suspected of taking part in a scam when they were found participating in profiting from illegal brokering practices involving the urine of patients with substance abuse problems who are in treatment and recovery programs.

It is reported that the urine collected from substance abuse treatment patients is a highly lucrative item for the labs that test it. When a lab acquires a contract with a treatment center in need of extensive urine testing they stand to profit quite a bit because insurance companies, though they often only pay for a portion of the charge, are billed up to $5,000 for the process.

In the state of Florida, it has been outlawed with a patient-brokering law in place prohibiting the acceptance of “any commission, bonus, rebate, kickback, or bribe, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind,” to protect against treatment centers and labs from profiting illegally through patient and lab service referrals.

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A woman from Colorado is facing several felony charges for allegations that she fraudulently accepted unemployment benefits while earning unreported money from jobs at the same time.

36-year-old Meadoe R. Croker began a claim for unemployment benefits beginning in January 2015 and started receiving checks shortly thereafter. She additionally renewed her claims in January 2016 and 2017.

Random audits are performed through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and a company in Grand Junction that Croker allegedly worked for was chosen to have their accounts examined. It was discovered that Croker was purportedly an employee of the business while she was still accepting her unemployment checks, and an investigation was opened.

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An ex-insurance agent from San Clemente has been accused of using fraudulent practices to profit off of investments he made for at least six elderly clients in Southern California.

55-year-old Mark Malatesta, a man employed as a licensed insurance agent, was taken into custody on Monday after the California Department of Insurance detectives found what they believe is supporting evidence that he was taking part in a monetary ruse which cost his former clients over $1.6 million. The alleged victims were reported as senior citizens, who are said to be a target demographic of an increasing number of deceptions designed to cheat them out of their money, as reported by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Malatesta has been accused of a procedure called “churning,” wherein a broker who typically has permission to make independent determinations on how to invest money from the client’s account performs transactions “chiefly to generate commissions that benefit the broker,” as described by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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A Dana Point resident who allegedly made millions of dollars in purchases through fraudulent means at several businesses in San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties is facing 89 charges for the schemes.

Over a nine-month period last year, businesses in three Southern California counties were the victims of a forced-sale scheme consisting of the perpetrator purchasing expensive merchandise with credit cards; some of which were fake and others were inactive. The standard authorization process that the credit card machines typically issue was surpassed by the customer requesting that the sales associate enter the transaction by hand or telling them to force the sale through.

When the transactions were processed by the credit card companies the merchants received notification that the payment was not approved.

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A Riverside County woman who worked as a foreclosure specialist at Fannie Mae in Irvine has been accused of taking over $1 million through accepting bribery and employing fraudulent sales practices with company-owned properties.

Shirene Hernandez, a 45-year-old resident of Riverside County, was a real estate owned foreclosure specialist for the government-sponsored Fannie Mae in Irvine. Her job duties entailed matching properties owned by the company with brokers and accepting sales offers when proposed by the brokers.

During a time period spanning from April 2011 and July 2016 Hernandez has been accused of personally profiting off of the sales transactions of the properties through fraudulent means. Court documents reflect that Hernandez allegedly accepted gifts and cash from certain brokers in order for them to gain the listing so they would profit off of the sales commissions. In addition, some of the foreclosed properties were said to have been purchased by Hernandez at a price below market value, using different names, and then rented out for profit. In total, it was estimated that Hernandez acquired more than $1 in profits from the alleged fraud.

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A 67-year-old man is facing hundreds of counts of wire fraud and money laundering for alleged participation as what police call a “middle man” in a common type of email scam dubbed “Nigerian prince.”

These shams, so named for many of them originating in Nigeria though they happen all over the world, typically connive people out of personal information such as bank account numbers under the pretense that they are assisting someone from Nigerian royalty in transferring money to the United States. The scammer then offers compensation for their aid. Law enforcement stated that investigating this type of crime poses challenges, “as many leads have led to individuals who live outside of the United States.”

After an 18-month and still ongoing investigation, police arrested Michael Neu on November 28 as they believed he was working with associates in Nigeria and serving as an intermediator in the fraudulent operations.

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A woman working as a psychic out of a business in Mount Vernon, Washington, has been charged with defrauding clients after she was convicted for the same offense nearly ten years ago in Florida.

69-year-old Linda Marks, a woman claiming she is a psychic, stood trial in 2006 in Florida for scamming mostly ill and vulnerable clients for more than $2 million over a period of eight years by offering supernatural solutions to their dilemmas. Just before she was given a four year sentence she made a statement to the court apologizing for her actions. Marks explained that she learned to steal as a result of growing up in a gypsy community, and a family member trained her in fortunetelling. “This is our heritage. This is the way we are taught to survive,” she said.

Marks has now moved her business to Mount Vernon, Washington. A woman recently sought the help of Marks for romantic, physical and family problems which were causing her to suffer from depression. Marks allegedly informed the woman that she was afflicted with a curse, and she could be cured through spiritual means.