THREE EXTRADITED TO MISSISSIPPI TO FACE FEDERAL FRAUD CHARGES
Gulfport, Miss – Two individuals have been extradited from South Africa and one from Canada in a case that includes defendants in California, Wisconsin, Indiana, and New York, to face charges on a nine-count federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Mississippi involving various internet fraud schemes, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis.
The indictment alleges numerous complex financial fraud schemes over the internet, including romance scams, re-shipping scams, fraudulent check scams and work-at-home scams, along with bank, financial, and credit card account take-overs.
The case is alleged to have begun as early as 2001. The investigation was initiated in October, 2011 by Homeland Security Investigation agents in Gulfport after U.S. law enforcement officers were contacted by a female victim in Mississippi who was the target of a romance scam. The victim received a package in the mail requesting that she reship the merchandise to an address in Pretoria, South Africa. The investigation later revealed that the merchandise was purchased using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of persons in the United States. Investigators have identified hundreds of victims of this scam in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of U.S. dollars. Other schemes discovered by the investigation include advance check schemes where a victim receives a check and is asked to deposit it then send money by Western Union, MoneyGram or prepaid credit cards to another person, only to find out later the check is not valid.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, an indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS AFFECTED BY THE SCHEMES:
1. If you believe you were the victim of criminal fraud committed by any of the defendants, possibly using the below email addresses and/or names, please go to http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdms/scams and complete the questionnaire.
Email Addresses Used:
Richard Wasser Adeline Piper
Glenn Sattelberg Folly Edwards
Samuel Maxwell Stacy Adams
Regina Darwin Justin Worsham
Marlon Chase Karen Robinson
Dickson Jones Mark Miller
Kimberly Faye Mark Smith
Lorene M. Garrett John Gervino
Mark Gentile Sarah Powell
Kevin Smith Anita Lauren
The information you provide through the questionnaire regarding your experience may be helpful in the criminal investigation and prosecution of this case. A law enforcement agent may contact you with additional questions or to request documents you may have received or submitted during your dealings with these individuals. To access the questionnaire please go to http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdms/scams and input the password scams.
Please note that submitting the questionnaire is NOT a substitute for consulting with your own attorney to determine what actions and remedies may be available to you through civil litigation.
2. You may access the website for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi: http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdms to obtain more information on the case or the court proceedings. You may also obtain information at http://justice.gov/largecases/.
3. If you have any questions related to this matter that are not addressed at the above websites, you may contact the government at the email address USAMSS.Scams@usdoj.gov.
The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service are investigating this fraud. The case in Mississippi will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annette Williams and Scott Gilbert, along with Robert Tully of the Organized Crime Gang Section.