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US v. AmeriP.O.S., Inc.


Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (CLOSED)

Prosecutions relating to AmeriP.O.S., Inc.

Trial:

U.S. v. Harris Cohen, Alex Moncayo, and Michael Borzillo, a/k/a "Michael Chiello," a/k/a "Michael Brazil"

Other:

 

U.S. v. Richard Balber

U.S. v. Jerome Cohen

U.S. v. Lon Finkelstein

U.S. v. Martin Geller

U.S. v. Steven Mishkin

U.S. v. Richard Nye

U.S. v. David Ross

US v. Isaac Denis Savariego

U.S. v. Scott Smith

Most Recent Update: 7/21/06 (See individual entries below for latest updates)

The Consumer Protection Branch of the United States Department of Justice, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida and the United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, conducted a nationwide investigation into criminal conduct by various individuals who participated in the sale of business opportunities through a firm called AmeriP.O.S., Inc.

On February 15, 2005, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida returned a fourteen count Indictment, charging defendants Harris Cohen, Alex Moncayo, and Michael Borzillo each with one count of mail fraud conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371, and additional counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341. In addition, Cohen is charged with one count of criminal contempt, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 401(3). As alleged in the Indictment, Cohen was an undisclosed principal of AmeriP.O.S. Moncayo was an AmeriP.O.S. salesman, who held himself out as AmeriP.O.S' "Director" and a "Territory Director." Borzillo was an AmeriP.O.S. reference, who fraudulently represented himself to potential purchasers as a successful AmeriP.O.S. distributor.

On February 18, 2005, five (5) separate criminal Informations were filed in the Southern District of Florida charging five additional defendants with various crimes in connection with their participation in AmeriP.O.S. Those individuals included Steven Mishkin, David Ross, Martin Geller, Richard Balber and Isaac Denis Savariego. A press release regarding the indictment, the informations, and some additional cases is available on the United States Attorney's Office's website. Three (3) additional individual, Richard Nye, Scott Smith, and Jerome Cohen, were charged by criminal Information on May 31, 2005. This website will provide information about scheduled events in each of the above-referenced cases. The scheduled event are as follows:

Trial:

U.S. v. Harris Cohen, Alex Moncayo, and Michael Borzillo, a/k/a "Michael Chiello," a/k/a "Michael Brazil," Case No. 05-CR-60029-Gonzalez

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Update 5/2/05:

On February 15, 2005, a grand jury indicted defendants Cohen, Moncayo and Borzillo, as described above.

On February 17, 2005, the indictment was unsealed. Defendants Moncayo and Borzillo appeared for initial appearances. Defendant Borzillo was released on bond, and defendant Moncayo was temporarily detained, but currently is released on bond.

On February 18, 2005, defendant Cohen appeared for his initial appearance, was arraigned and was released on bond.

On March 7, 2005, defendants Moncayo and Borzillo were arraigned.

Trial currently is scheduled to begin on September 19, 2005, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Division, 299 E. Broward Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301. If there are any changes to the trial date, it will be posted on this website.

Update 9/26/05:

The trial date in this matter has been postponed until October 24, 2005. If there are any changes to the trial date, it will be posted on this website.

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Update 11/14/05:

On August 19, 2005, Alex Moncayo pled guilty to counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13 of the Indictment. On November 10, 2005, Moncayo was sentenced to 63 months' imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3,279,155.90 in restitution.

Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Probation Officer.

On November 9, 2005, Harris Cohen pled guilty to counts 1 and 14 of the Indictment, and Michael Borzillo pled guilty to counts 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the Indictment. Sentencing for both Cohen and Borzillo is scheduled for January 26, 2006, at 2:00 p.m.

The U.S. Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

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Update 7/21/06:

Michael Borzillo
On January 26, 2006, Michael Borzillo was sentenced to 97 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $4,382,972.39 in restitution. Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases , in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: “In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant.” Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

Harris Cohen
On February 21, 2006, Harris Cohen was sentenced to 135 months’ imprisonment, 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $16,659,826.94 in restitution. Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: “In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant.” Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

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Other:

U.S. v. Richard Balber, 05-CR-60033-Marra

Update 5/2/05:

On February 18, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Richard Balber with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On February 22, 2005, defendant Balber appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

On April 6, 2005, Richard Balber pled guilty to the one count information charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. A sentencing proceeding, at which Richard Balber will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on June 20, 2005, at 9:00 a.m.

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 7/5/05:

The sentencing hearing regarding Richard Balber has been delayed until November 10, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

Richard Balber’s sentencing proceeding has been rescheduled for January 10, 2006, at 1:00 p.m.

Update 7/21/06:

On March 24, 2006, Richard Balber was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,556,631.92 in restitution. Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: “In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant.” Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. Jerome Cohen, 05-CR-60144-Marra

Update 7/5/05:

On May 31, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Jerome Cohen with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On June 7, 2005, defendant Cohen appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

A change of plea hearing is set for July 19, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On July 19, 2005, Jerome Cohen pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The U.S. Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 7/21/06:

On January 27, 2006, Jerome Cohen was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $449,395.75 in restitution. Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: “In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant.” Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

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United States v. Lon Finkelstein, Case No. 05-cr-20135

On February 18, 2005, Lon Finkelstein was charged by federal criminal information with 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 1 count of criminal contempt. The charges alleged that Lon Finkelstein participated in business opportunity fraud through telemarketing. The charges were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and involved Lon Finkelstein's conduct at a fraudulent business opportunity firm called Perfumes Unlimited, Inc., and AmeriP.O.S. Inc.

On April 4, 2005, Lon Finkelstein pled guilty to 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 1 count of criminal contempt. In doing so, Lon Finkelstein admitted he had engaged in business opportunity fraud through telemarketing.

On February 3, 2006, Lon Finkelstein was sentenced to 78 months' imprisonment, 5 years’ supervised release and $1,476,862.78 in restitution. During his term of supervised release, Lon Finkelstein is not permitted to sell business opportunities or engage in telemarketing without approval of the probation office and the Court.

Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant." Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. Martin Geller, 05-CR-60034-Cohn

Update 5/2/05:

On February 18, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Martin Geller with one count of mail fraud.

On February 22, 2005, defendant Geller appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

On March 31, 2005, Martin Geller pled guilty to the one count information charging him with mail fraud. A sentencing proceeding, at which Martin Geller will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on June 24, 2005, at 11:00 a.m.

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 7/5/05:

On July 1, 2005, Martin Geller was sentenced to seventy-eight months' imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. A hearing to determine the amount of restitution he owes has been set for August 12, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On August 12, 2005, Geller was ordered to pay $16,432,882.94 in restitution. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. Steven Mishkin, 05-CR-60037-Cohn

Update 5/2/05:

On February 18, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Steven Mishkin with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of criminal contempt.

On February 23, 2005, defendant Mishkin appeared for an initial appearance and was released on a personal surety bond.

On March 31, 2005, Steven Mishkin pled guilty to both counts of the two count information charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and criminal contempt. A sentencing proceeding, at which Steven Mishkin will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on June 24, 2005, at 10:30 a.m.

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 7/5/05:

On July 1, 2005, Steven Mishkin was sentenced to eighty-one months' imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. A hearing to determine the amount of restitution he owes has been set for August 12, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On August 12, 2005, Mishkin was ordered to pay $16,432,882.94 in restitution. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. Richard Nye, 05-CR-60145-Marra

Update 7/5/05:

On May 31, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Richard Nye with one count of mail fraud.

On June 7, 2005, 2005, defendant Nye appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

A change of plea hearing is set for July 14, 2005.

Update 8/9/05:

Nye pled guilty to mail fraud on July 14, 2005.  A sentencing proceeding, at which Richard Nye will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on November 4, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., before Judge Kenneth A. Marra. 

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 11/14/05:

Nye’s sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for January 20, 2006, at 1:30 p.m.

Update 7/21/06:

On January 20, 2006, Richard Nye was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $16,626,567.94 in restitution. Under federal law restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant’s ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. § 3664 (f)(1)(A), which provides: “In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim’s losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant.” Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office of the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. David Ross, 05-CR-60036-Marra

Update 5/2/05:

On February 18, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging David Ross with one count of mail fraud.

On February 22, 2005, defendant Ross appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

On March 24, 2005, David Ross pled guilty to the one count information charging him with mail fraud. A sentencing proceeding, at which David Ross will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on June 17, 2005, at 9:00 a.m.

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

Update 7/5/05:

The sentencing hearing regarding David Ross has been delayed until November 4, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On November 10, 2005, David Ross was sentenced to 72 months' imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $3,287,024.90 in restitution. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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US v. Isaac Denis Savariego, 05-CR-60035-Cohn

Update 5/2/05:

On February 18, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Isaac Denis Savariego with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On February 22, 2005, defendant Savariego appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

On April 21, 2005, Isaac Denis Saveriego pled guilty to the one count information charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. A sentencing proceeding, at which Isaac Denis Saveriego will be sentenced, is scheduled to occur on July 8, 2005, at 10:30 a.m.

The U.S. Probation Officer is required to prepare a presentence investigation report which includes a section assessing the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact of the crime on any individual against whom the offense was committed. A package of materials will be sent to each person identified by the government as a victim of the offense. If you receive such materials, please complete them as soon as possible and return them to the government representative identified in the paperwork.

It should be remembered that an indictment is not evidence of criminal activity, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise.

Update 7/5/05:

On April 26, 2005, a bench warrant was issued for Savariego's arrest. He was arrested on June 8, 2005, and is incarcerated pending his sentencing proceeding, which will take place on July 8, 2005.

Update 8/9/05:

On July 8, 2005, Savariego was sentenced to fifty-seven months' imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release.  A hearing to determine the amount of restitution he owes has been set for August 12, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On August 12, 2005, Savariego was ordered to pay $2,163,731.32 in restitution. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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U.S. v. Scott Smith, 05-CR-60143-Marra

Update 7/5/05:

On May 31, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida filed a criminal Information charging Scott Smith with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

On June 7, 2005, defendant Smith appeared for an initial appearance and was released on personal surety bond.

A change of plea hearing is set for July 19, 2005.

Update 11/14/05:

On July 19, 2005, Smith pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. On November 10, 2005, Smith was sentenced to 24 months' imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,552,721.33 in restitution. Under federal law, restitution is ordered in criminal cases, in general, on the basis of losses a defendant causes and without regard to the defendant's ability to pay the restitution. See 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3664(f)(1)(A), which provides: "In each order of restitution, the court shall order restitution to each victim in the full amount of each victim's losses as determined by the court and without consideration of the economic circumstances of the defendant."

Any payments made by the defendant will go to the Court and will then be shared among the victims. Any amount due a victim shall be reduced by any amount the victim recovers for the same loss from any other source. If you have any questions regarding the restitution order, please contact the Federal Probation Office for the Southern District of Florida.

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