Nineteen People Indicted on Fraud Charges Related to Telemarketing Enterprise
St. Louis, MO – Nineteen defendants have been charged in federal court in connection with a multi-count indictment arising from their participation in a fraudulent telemarketing enterprise that often targeted elderly victims.
In October 2016, a grand jury returned an indictment against nine individuals living in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Last month, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment against an additional ten defendants. The superseding indictment includes charges against individuals living in Missouri, Kansas and Nevada.
Defendants Michael McNeill, Joshua Flynn, Timothy Murphy, Shawn Casey, Thomas Silha, Jennifer Hansen, Dean Miller, Michael Silver, John Balleweg, Donald Schnock, Ashley Powell, Scott Shocklee, Jason Gallagher, Andre Devoe, Bruce Doll, Anthony Swiantek, Philip Hale, Cybill Osterman and Brian Phillips are alleged to have committed multiple offenses related to a fraudulent telemarketing scheme. The telemarketing enterprise sold false and fictitious business opportunities as part of scheme that reached across the United States and Canada and generated in excess of $20,000,000 in sales. 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; bank fraud; money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. All nineteen defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today by Magistrate Judge Shirley Padmore Mensah on those charges.
If convicted of wire fraud or mail fraud in connection with telemarketing, a defendant faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. If convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering, a defendant faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 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.