Articles Tagged with wire fraud

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A married couple from Virginia accused of pilfering more than $1.4 M from the Paycheck Protection Program was taken into custody at the airport when it was discovered they were leaving the U.S. in a purported attempt to escape criminal penalties.

Since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) put many small businesses in danger of having to shut their doors, the U.S. Small Business Association began offering a loan called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It was designed to help owners keep their employees on the payroll during the pandemic.

A press release from the Justice Department informed the public that they found purportedly fraudulent PPP applications submitted to at least a dozen institutions during the months of April and May, and they asserted the responsible parties were a couple from Ashburn.

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After claiming he was the representative for booking events for the band The Village People, a Florida man entered a guilty plea to charges that he pilfered over $12,000 from an Oregon Casino.

The U.S. attorney’s office stated that Florida resident 67-year-old Howard Harlib has a prior collection of legal cases involving “frauds and swindles” spanning over approximately 32-years.

Harlib, a Bronx, NY native who has been incarcerated in Florida since 2016 for infractions unrelated to the current charges, sent a flyer to the Coquille Indian Tribe’s Mill Casino in North Bend, Oregon in August 2015.

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A man in Los Angeles allegedly tried to scam people out of financial investments by asking them to endorse a drug he reportedly claimed he created that was successful for curing COVID-19, and he is facing federal charges for the accusation.

53-year-old Keith Lawrence Middlebrook has a large online presence on social media under the name “The Real Iron Man.”

Middlebrook reportedly had an Instagram account as well as a YouTube channel where he marketed items such as a product claiming to reverse the aging process, in addition to having an acting career with small roles in several well-known television shows and movies.

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A man who claimed he was making a Netflix movie in Hollywood has been accused of bilking $14 million out of the people he allegedly convinced to foot the bill for the false film.

Manhattan Beach, California, resident Adam Joiner ran a company called Dark Planet Pictures, LLC.

A few years ago, Joiner reportedly decided he wanted to work on a movie project for a 19th Century period piece casting famous Hollywood actors in the roles and gave it the preliminary title of “Legends.”

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A federal investigation of a company in Irvine that offers financial and insurance services has led to charges for three executives of the firm who have allegedly been found to have stolen investments totaling over $4 million from several elderly clients.

50-year-old Mehmet Fatih Biyikoglu is the CEO and founder of Five Star Financial Services, LLC, a financial management and insurance firm in Orange County. 58-year-old Anna Marie Holt serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer, and Ida Shaghoian, 38, was a sales agent who was also once married to Biyikoglu.

The company practices have been under investigation that has led to accusations against Biyikoglu, Holt, and Shaghoian purporting that between 2014 and 2015 they recruited clients, typically elderly people, and assured them that if they invested into certificates of deposit they would earn significant returns. Instead of taking the clients’ money and putting it into a JP Morgan Chase Bank CD account as promised, the suspects have been accused of taking over $4 million in investments and using the cash for personal items such as real estate, jewelry, and expensive automobiles.

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