U.S. v. Clark et al.
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United States v. Clark et al. - Case No. 3:16-cr-316
December 14, 2106 - Filing of Bill of Information
On December 14, 2016, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced the filing of a criminal bill of information against six individuals, charging them with with mail and wire fraud conspiracy charges, for their involvement in a $6 million debt collection scheme operating in Mecklenburg County that targeted victims throughout the country. According to allegations contained in the criminal bill of information, Cedric Clark, 35, of Concord, N.C., was the sole owner, operator, and leader of the fraudulent debt collection company operating as Capital Solutions Agency, and/or Berkeley Hughes and Associates, and/or the Vortex Group, collectively “BHA.” Clarks’ five co-defendants, who served as both collectors and team leaders or supervisors are Michael Boughner, 48; Isaac Humberto Gonzalez, 31; Cynthia Martinez, 47; Benjamin Murray, 28; and Felicia Shaw, 46, all of Charlotte. The charging document alleges that from in or about November 2011 through May 2015, BHA operated in Mecklenburg County and allegedly defrauded thousands of debtors throughout the United States of approximately $6 million. Using a number of interconnected fraudulent debt collection companies, court documents allege that the co-conspirators targeted individuals and generally executed their scheme to defraud by coercing purported debtors to pay money, some of which was not even owed, by providing false and misleading information and using harassing and abusive tactics.
Each of the six defendants is charged with one count of engaging in a fraudulent debt collection conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Clark is also charged with one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and carries a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount fo the criminally derived property involved in the transaction.
The six defendants have acknowledged taking part in the conspiracy and have agreed to plead guilty to the charges filed against them, according to the plea agreements filed today. The defendants are expected to formally appear before the court to formally enter their guilty pleas.