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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Arizona Men Sentenced for Organizing and Leading Telemarketing Fraud that Victimized St. Louis Residents

St. Louis, MO – Michael McNeill was sentenced to 120 months in prison and Joshua Flynn was sentenced to 84 months in prison in connection with a multi-count indictment arising from a fraudulent telemarketing enterprise that often targeted elderly victims. Both defendants were also ordered to pay restitution to the victims and to forfeit assets. Ninety-one Missouri residents are among the approximately 4,000 victims, including residents of Chesterfield, University City, St. Louis, Hannibal, Arnold, Potosi, Ballwin, Valley Park, Florissant, O’Fallon, St. Clair, and Farmington.

On November 20, 2017, Michael McNeill a/k/a Mr. White, a/k/a Todd Lockwood, 48, of Phoenix, Arizona, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering before United States District Judge John Ross.  Also on November 20, 2017, Joshua Flynn a/k/a Mr. Pink, a/k/a Jeff Thomas, 36, of Chandler, Arizona, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As organized and led by Defendant McNeill and Defendant Flynn, and others, the telemarketing enterprise sold false and fictitious business opportunities as part of a scheme that reached across the United States and Canada and generated in excess of $20,000,000 in fraudulent sales.  Missouri victims of the scheme suffered combined total losses of approximately $1,000,000. The Phoenix, Arizona based telemarketing enterprise operated under multiple business names and utilized multiple business entities over the course of the scheme, including Smart Business Pros LLC of Warson Woods, Missouri. The sophisticated money laundering activity of the telemarketing enterprise and the conspiracy included transfers of criminal proceeds to the purchase gold and silver coins ultimately distributed to McNeill and Flynn as the owners of the enterprise.

 

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Arizona Attorney General.  Assistant United States Attorneys Charles Birmingham and Gwendolyn Carroll are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Updated March 7, 2018