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Press Release

Palm Harbor Man Indicted For Mail And Wire Fraud Relating To IRS Impersonation And Tech Support Scams

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – On January 3, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment charging Glenn Francis (58, Palm Harbor) with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and with substantive counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. Francis faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count of wire and mail fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, and mail fraud. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each of the three money laundering charges. The indictment also notifies the defendant that the United States is seeking a money judgment for at least $313,370.03, an amount equal to the proceeds of the crimes charged.

According to the indictment, from at least 2016 through January 2019, Francis conspired with India-based call centers to extort money from U.S. residents by impersonating IRS officers and misleading U.S. residents to believe that they owed money to the IRS and that they would be arrested and fined if they did not pay their alleged back taxes immediately; impersonating loan officers and misleading U.S. residents to believe that they would receive loan proceeds upon paying an advance fee to the defendant or others he hired; or impersonating computer technicians and misleading U.S. residents to believe that their computers had been hacked, their identities had been stolen, and/or their computers were infected with viruses and in need of repair, and that the callers would resolve the purported computer problems if paid to do so.  

The indictment alleges that the defendant collected the fraud proceeds by withdrawing them from bank accounts he or others he hired (runners) controlled; retrieving the proceeds from money services businesses; and depositing checks and cash equivalents into bank accounts he or his runners controlled. In order to collect the fraud proceeds, the runners were provided with the victims’ names, locations, and amount paid. Runners were then directed to retrieve the fraud proceeds in cash, and turn them over, often less a payment to the runner for opening the account or conducting the transaction.

On January 11, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Francis’s home. Among other items, they seized business and financial records, money transfer receipts, and two electronic devices.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel K. Jones.

Updated January 31, 2019

Indictment   [PDF, ]
Financial Fraud