California Resident Pleads Guilty to Telemarketing Conspiracy to Defraud U.S. Consumers
On Nov. 21, 2019, Angel Armando Adrianzen, 45, of California pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud for partnering with call centers in Peru that took money from U.S. Spanish-speaking victims through lies and threats. Adrianzen was arrested on Sept. 16 and has remained incarcerated since then.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan, and Miami Division Postal Inspector in Charge Antonio J. Gomez announced today’s guilty plea.
“The Department of Justice will vigorously pursue and prosecute fraudsters who prey on others through international telemarketing schemes,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice's Civil Division. “The Department’s Consumer Protection Branch, working alongside the Postal Inspection Service and our Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force partners, will bring to justice those who threaten and defraud consumers.”
“Protecting vulnerable and elderly members of our community from international fraud schemes is a top priority of the Department of Justice. Individuals who defraud American consumers will be brought to justice, no matter where they are located,” said U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.
“This case highlights the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’ commitment to investigating and combating these kinds of schemes that are designed to defraud innocent victims no matter where they operate from,” said Antonio J. Gomez, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Miami Division.
According to the court record, Adrianzen partnered with a series of Peruvian call centers that contacted U.S. consumers, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, using Internet-based telephone calls. These callers claimed to be attorneys or government representatives, and falsely told victims that they had failed to pay for or receive delivery of products. The callers also falsely threatened victims with court proceedings, negative marks on their credit reports, imprisonment, or immigration consequences if they did not immediately pay for the purportedly delivered products and settlement fees. Many victims made monetary payments based on these baseless threats. Adrianzen received the victims’ payments and shipped products to the victims for these call centers, knowing that they used fraudulent and extortionate means to extract money from vulnerable victims.
Trial Attorneys Phil Toomajian and Joshua Rothman of the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch are prosecuting the case. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida has provided critical assistance.
Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. In particular, this past March the Department announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history, charging more than 260 defendants in a nationwide elder fraud sweep. The Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act.