Phoenix Telemarketing Duo Indicted In Conspiracy Case Involving 25 Counts Of Mail And Wire Fraud
PHOENIX – Two people have been charged in a 26-count indictment with 15 counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy in connection with a fraud scheme involving an Arizona business entity known as The Results Group (TRG). Edward Longoria, 41 of Laguna Beach, Calif., and Amber Halvorson, 34, of Phoenix, self-surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service on August 12, 2011.
According to the indictment, between June 2004 and November 2006, Longoria and Halvorson owned and operated TRG, through which they deceptively sold Internet-based business opportunities to victims throughout the United States. Victims paid TRG between $99 and $599 to design and build websites "affiliated" with online retail companies such as amazon.com, overstock.com and gambling-related websites. Victims were told they would receive commissions from the retailers when consumers purchased products through the victims' website.
The indictment alleges that the defendants misrepresented to victims they were likely to earn a substantial income, in some instances upwards of $50,000 per month, with little risk. Victims were also promised assistance from TRG "marketing coaches" and a money-back, satisfaction guarantee. Additionally, TRG contacted victims after the initial sale of the website, soliciting $1,000 to $10,000 for fraudulent advertising programs. Victims were led to believe that purchasing the advertisement would make their businesses more profitable. It is estimated that there are several thousand victims with losses exceeding $20 million.
Each wire and mail fraud count carries a potential sentence of 30 years in prison, because this case involves allegations of telemarketing fraud, and a potential fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for the conspiracy count is five years and a $250,000 fine.
Potential victims of this scheme may track the progress of the case by visiting the following link located on the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona's website: http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/us_v_longoria_etal.html. Potential victims may also leave a voice message at 602-514-7679; calls will be returned by a victim witness specialist in the order in which they are received.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The prosecution is being handled by Peter Sexton and Dominic Lanza, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-11-1565-PHX (DGC)
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-178(Longoria et al)