THREE MEN INDICTED IN BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ADVANCE FEE SCHEME
BOSTON - Three men were charged today in federal court with defrauding over 150 victims in an advanced fee scheme.
LAWRENCE AMIRTO, 58, of Boca Raton, Fla., JAMON CASWELL, 33, of Wakefield, Mass. and WILLIAM TOTARO, 60, of Pompano Beach, Fla., were indicted on charges of conspiracy and mail fraud.
The indictment alleges that between June and December 2010, AMIRTO, CASWELL, and TOTARO conspired to defraud over 150 victims out of at least $368,000 in a business opportunity advance fee scheme involving an entity called Premier Service Group, Inc. (PSG).
It is alleged that AMIRTO, CASWELL and TOTARO falsely claimed that PSG provided credit repair services to consumers. According to the indictment, they advertised in publications through the U.S. the sale of independent businesses whereby independent affiliates would purchase geographic territories and would receive leads from PSG for potential credit repair clients within those territories. The affiliates were to contact these leads, describe the services that PSG would provide, sign them up as clients of PSG, and earn commissions. Affiliates were told that representatives at PSG’s home office in Burlington, Mass., provided the actual credit repair services. It is alleged that PSG never provided any credit repair service but rather, many of the newly-recruited affiliates were immediately given the opportunity to recruit additional affiliates. Allegedly, the new affiliates were thereby diverted from learning that there was no actual credit repair business, while soliciting still more affiliates. The funds collected from new affiliates were allegedly used for making payments to other affiliates, for expenses associated with the scheme, or for the personal expenses of AMIRTO, CASWELL and TOTARO.
If convicted AMIRTO, CASWELL and TOTARO each face up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of United States Postal Service; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.