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Justice News

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Nine People Indicted on Fraud Charges Related to Telemarketing Enterprise

St. Louis, MO – Nine people living in the Phoenix, Arizona, area have been charged in federal court in a multi-count indictment arising from their participation in a fraudulent telemarketing enterprise. The enterprise generated in excess of $10,000,000 in sales from individuals across the United States and Canada and specifically targeted persons over the age of 55.


According to the indictment, which was unsealed earlier this week, beginning sometime prior to 2013 and continuing until July 2015, the defendants operated a telemarketing enterprise selling false and fictitious “business opportunities.” 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 charges include conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud; wire fraud; mail fraud and money laundering.


If convicted of wire fraud or mail fraud in connection with telemarketing, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.


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


As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated January 17, 2017