California Man Pleads Guilty To Operating $1.6 Million Internet Fraud
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A California man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Kansas to operating an Internet fraud scheme that cost more than 200 victims a total of more than $1.6 million, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Anthony Renfrow, 57, Folsom, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In his plea, he admitted he made fraudulent claims to entice people to pay to become “autosurf investors” with 14DailyPlus.com.
Investors paid a membership fee and were promised a 14 percent daily return on their money for clicking on advertisers’ Web sites for a certain period of time each day. To achieve that rate of return, 14DailyPlus.com purportedly pooled the capital investments of members and purchased advertising units on the Internet with Fortune-500 type companies.
Renfrow held regularly scheduled conference calls with investors via telephone and Internet to lull them into believing the program was legitimate and returns on investments were being paid as promised. In truth, there was no investment vehicle and the promise of a 14 percent daily return was completely unrealistic.
Renfrow founded 14DailyPlus.com in March 2006. Co-defendant William Fox, 46, formerly of Olathe, Kan., allegedly was a promoter and recruiter for 14DailyPlus.com in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He is awaiting trial.
Sentencing will be set for a later date. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, the California Attorney General’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask for their work on the case.