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Federal charges brought it alleged marketing scam

Fifteen individuals including ones in California were arrested for what was called an alleged financial fraud scheme over the internet. Besides involving a number of states, the purported ring also involved individuals from Canada and South Africa. It is claimed that a West African organized crime network was at the center of this scheme.

Federal attorneys claim that mass marketing campaigns for romance, re-shipping check, work-at-home and credit card advertising were scams. The investigation had first begun in October 2011 by Homeland Security Investigation agents. The focus eventually centered on stolen personal identification and how such information was used through fraudulent credit card use. It also supposedly involved hundreds of victims in the U.S. resulting in millions of dollars being lost.

Besides HSI agents from a variety of states, investigators partnered with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, law enforcement officers from Canada and South Africa, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs and the Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture. Putting a stop to this claimed behavior was claimed "to be a major initiative priority for HSI."

A number of different individuals charged will likely be extradited to Mississippi where the eight-count federal crime indictment is scheduled to be heard.

In light of such law enforcement efforts, without question individuals will be facing serious penalties if the charges stick. The representation by an attorney is more necessary in criminal defense cases than about any other area of law. This is especially true when we are speaking of federal charges where the prosecution has almost unlimited resources to prosecute the case.

Source: WTOK, "15 Arrested in International Round-Up," May 20, 2014

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