Chester County Man Charged In Alleged Telemarketing Scheme
PHILADELPHIA - An information was filed yesterday charging Marc Roy Ferry, 35, of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with one count of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.
According to the information, from at least about 2009 to about March 2014, defendant Marc Roy Ferry and Ari Tietolman, charged elsewhere, used Tietolman’s network of telemarketers in Canada to target American seniors citizens with deceptive telemarketing calls, selling worthless or non-existent services and then debiting seniors’ bank accounts without their informed consent. Using the business names Fraud Watch, Patient Assistance Plus, Legal Eye and Trust One, the worthless or non-existent services these telemarketers sold included purported fraud protection and discounted legal services as well as a discount prescription card.
During these calls, Tietolman’s telemarketers made various false representations, such as they were calling on behalf of, or are affiliated with, the victim’s bank, or insurance company, or the United States government. In addition to misrepresenting the value of the products being marketed, Tietolman’s telemarketers also misrepresented the cost of these products, sometimes telling consumers the products were free, or less expensive than the amount that was ultimately debited from the consumers’ bank accounts. In other instances, Tietolman’s telemarketers assured consumers they would not debit the consumers’ bank accounts and then did just that after the consumer provided their bank account information.
Tietolman attempted to conceal his involvement in the scheme by employing defendant Marc Roy Ferry and others to run “front” companies, including First Consumers, LLC, and process the fraud money. Tietolman paid Ferry and others to form corporations in the United States. The sole purpose of these corporations was to process the fraud proceeds generated by the telemarketing scheme. Tietolman instructed Ferry and others to open up numerous bank accounts in the United States in the names of the fraud companies that they had incorporated. Ferry sent Tietolman online logins and passwords so Tietolman and others could control these United States bank accounts from Canada.
Tietolman sent, or had others send, Ferry and others bank account information for the victims in the United States. Using computer programs and printers provided by Tietolman, Ferry and others used the victims’ bank account information to print remotely created checks (“RCCs”), in the United States. The RCCs were all made payable to the fraud companies and did not require a signature by the account holder. Because these RCCs did not require the account holder’s consent each time a check was created and submitted to the bank for payment, the account holder-victim had no opportunity to object or prevent the debit from occurring. Ferry and others deposited the RCCs in bank accounts held by the fraud companies, per Tietolman’s instructions. Tietolman instructed Ferry and others to deposit the RCCs in batches of less than $10,000 to avoid federally-mandated reporting requirements. After the checks were deposited, Tietolman instructed Ferry and others to wire the majority of the funds to accounts in Canada.
Tietolman and others operated this scheme since at least 2005. Since May 2011, Tietolman, Ferry, and others have used this scheme to take more than $13 million from tens of thousands of senior citizens in the United States.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 70 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $750,000 fine or up to double the amount involved in the money laundering, and a $300 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.
An information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.