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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two Harrisburg-Based U.S. Postal Inspectors Receive Award For Consumer Fraud Work

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a U.S. Postal Inspector and a Consumer Fraud Analyst were awarded the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Criminal Liaison Unit’s Consumer Shield Award for their dedicated efforts related to the investigation of the MoneyGram fraud case.

     Nicholas Alicea and Michael Hartman were presented the Consumer Shield Award today by James Kohm, Associate Director for the FTC’s Division of Enforcement. It is the first time the FTC has presented this award established to recognize extraordinary work by a criminal law enforcement officer in fighting consumer fraud. Both men will be the only recipients of the award this year.

     Alicea and Hartman were nominated for the award by United States Attorney Peter J. Smith.  

     Alicea and Hartman led the long-term investigation that resulted in the settlement with MoneyGram forfeiting $100 million to be used to compensate thousands of victims of mass marketing and consumer fraud schemes perpetrated by MoneyGram agents between 2004 and 2009.

     In addition to the $100 million settlement, approximately 25 former MoneyGram agents have been prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Those defendants victimized individuals throughout Central Pennsylvania many of them elderly, from central and northeastern PA, including residents of: York; Mifflinburg; Sugarloaf; Lehighton; Chambersburg; Moosic; Dover; Stroudsburg; Harrisburg; Clark Summit; Jim Thorpe; Lairdsville; Montgomery; Milford; Bloomsburg; Mount Pocono; Palmyra; Tunkhannock; Montandon; State College; St. Clair; Lewisburg; Shenandoah; Montoursville; Wilkes-Barre; Northumberland; and Elizabethville.

     The MoneyGram case was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Craig Timm of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  The forfeiture was handled by Acting Assistant Deputy Chief Jeannette Gunderson of AFMLS’ Forfeiture Unit. The case was investigated by the Harrisburg, PA, office of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division.

     U.S. Postal Inspectors and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are continuing the investigation and prosecutions of consumer fraud schemes that use international money transfer services to victimize U.S. Citizens.

     Persons who believe they were victims of the fraud scheme should visit or call 1-877-282-2610 (United States Only) or 317-324-0390 (International) for instructions on how to request compensation.

Updated April 9, 2015