November 18, 2012 |
Karen Luther first heard about becoming a "mystery shopper" from a friend and couldn't help being intrigued. In her 50s and disabled by spinal injuries, she had no prospects of returning to work as a nurse's aide. If she could earn a few extra dollars shopping for life's necessities, it sounded like a gift. Instead, her shopping foray turned into a nightmare - and federal authorities believe hundreds of thousands of victims suffered with her. They were targeted by a network of scammers running sophisticated cons, some so notorious they became known by shorthand - such as "grandparent fraud," in which a supposedly stranded grandchild begs from overseas for emergency money.
June 29, 1991 |
The owner of a bankrupt Montgomery County printing company pleaded guilty yesterday in a Connecticut federal court to being part of a scheme to defraud equipment-leasing firms. Thomas J. Becker, 43, of North Kingston, R.I., will be sentenced at a later date on one count of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, said a U.S. prosecutor in New Haven, where the plea was entered. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Clark, who is prosecuting the case, said that Becker, who still faced a maximum 25-year prison sentence and a $750,000 fine, had agreed to cooperate with the government's continuing investigation.
February 11, 1990 |
Contractor Ralph Leonard has begun paying back at least $442,000 for his role in the Kinsley Landfill fraud case. Leonard, who received probation in December after pleading guilty to theft by deception, made his first $100,000 payment Dec. 22, said Christopher Florentz, a spokesman with the state Attorney General's Office. Under a forfeiture order, filed Jan. 4 in Gloucester County Superior Court, future payments of $100,000 are due Dec. 22 in 1991 and 1992. In addition, Leonard must pay at least $142,000 in taxes owed to the federal and state government for 1983-85.
December 13, 2007 |
A prominent Villanova real estate developer and a senior executive of Royal Bank pleaded guilty to fraud yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. The developer, Mark Alan Mendelson, 52, also pleaded guilty to bribing the banker, Joseph Zakorchemny Jr., 57, of Aston, a former Royal Bank senior vice president. In return for his help, Mendelson gave the bank executive $12,000 cash, a trip to a casino-hotel, and jewelry. Sentencing guidelines call for at least a year in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Schwartz said.
August 31, 2007 |
Five years after making a courtroom apology for cheating people out of heirlooms and antiques, former Antiques Roadshow celebrity Russ Pritchard 3d admitted this week that he had done it again. Pritchard, 44, of Beach Haven, N.J., pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he defrauded six people who had entrusted him with paintings, jewelry, furniture and other items to sell on consignment from a shop in Bryn Mawr. "He never did what he promised to do," said Tracey Potere, an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County.
July 6, 2011 |
In 2006, a fire raged through the house in a rural, wooded section of Montgomery County where Paul and Monica Shay spent time on their days off. Weeks later, Paul Shay reported artwork and other items missing. According to the man who came to the rebuilt home in Douglass Township on Saturday night and shot the Shays and three others in the head - killing a 2-year-old boy - Paul Shay had conspired with the shooter in an insurance-fraud scheme related to the fire and missing art. Montgomery County authorities are trying to determine whether that's true, and they are now investigating whether the fire was arson.
August 30, 2010
SHAWN ANDREWS is an ungrateful fraud. Andrews, who was released by the Eagles in March, signed with the New York Giants a little over a week ago. On Friday night, the two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman played in a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, and saw fit to diss the Eagles, a team that had stuck by him through injuries and a bout with depression. "It just felt good to run back out, even though I'm at my new home with the G-Men," he told the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. "I have to say it feels much more of a family atmosphere than what I'm used to in the past.
June 21, 2011
Much like a fortune cookie, you never know what you're going to get when you invest in a foreign company that has gone public in the United States, and then start poring over the financial statements. That's what securities regulators and short-sellers are warning about companies such as Sino-Forest Corp. , Longtop Financial Technologies Ltd. , and other potentially fraudulent public concerns from China that have been raising capital in America. First, let's address how to avoid foreign-based frauds listed in the United States.
June 24, 1988 |
In 1966, John P. Moscony became a salesman in the real estate business founded by his late father and helped build it into one of Southwest Philadelphia's busiest home dealers. But all the good will and reputation he once said he earned has come into question. Moscony, 45, and Thomas L. Cullen Jr., 43, his chief salesman, have been indicted by a federal grand jury here for allegedly reaping more than $600,000 in profits over a six-year period by fraudulently securing federal mortgage insurance for some 95 homebuyers whom he knew to be ineligible for government- insured loans.
January 31, 2007 |
A Philadelphia executive who pleaded guilty to participating in a $40 million television infomercial fraud was sentenced yesterday to one year and one day in prison. Patrick Buttery, 55, was the chief financial officer of Computer Personalities Systems Inc., which operated as the Video Computer Store and Direct 2 U Inc. On a national scale, the company charged consumers nearly $4 million for computers and parts that were never delivered - putting customers who complained on hold for hours, prosecutors said.