Some people never learn from their mistakes and seem doomed to repeat them. And, when it comes to committing fraud, being “doomed” is often equal to winding up in jail, probation or at least with some type of penalty. That’s the case in today’s Fraud of the Day from The Baltimore Sun, which describes how a fraudster couldn’t take the hint when he was arrested for fraud and placed on house arrest and continued his defrauding ways…
The article reported that a Washington, D.C. – area defendant recently pleaded guilty to multiple fraud plots. In the first case, he “exploited a loophole in Maryland’s unemployment system that let people supply one address to the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and another to [the credit card company] unit that handed out prepaid debit cards loaded with the benefit payment.” From February 2010 to February 2011, he and his partner in crime (literally) “successfully targeted 40 people in the scheme” and had a list of 1,100 more they planned to target. (Oh…it’s THAT easy.) What was the total damage to Maryland taxpayers? The two stole $340,000 in Maryland unemployment benefits through this scheme. His partner was caught and pleaded guilty.
Nearly $340K is a pretty good haul. You might think he’d quit while he was ahead. But, that wasn’t enough for the defendant. Our fraudster was a bit greedy. So, he kept at his fraud trade. (It’s odd to think of a fraudster as having a work ethic, but it appears that he had one.) He came up with a new scheme that “wound up costing a merchant $600,000 in bank fees.” He was then arrested in August 2011, and released pending his trial “on [the] condition he not use a computer or cell phone and stay with his parents.”
So, of course he learned his lesson, right? Just kidding. Of course, not. “Prosecutors said he had a phone stealthily delivered to the house and worked up a fresh scheme” to defraud a satellite TV provider “marketing subscriptions by phone – which is banned by federal regulations – then offering to split the commissions with the company’s dealers.” Fortunately, he was arrested in December 2011 before this plot could be fully put into operation. His sentencing is scheduled for January 2013. (Someone put this guy in jail!)
Some people go to the end of the world to find success. While that’s normally a good thing, in the world of fraud, this often costs individuals time and money. Maybe they will put him in jail this time – it seems like being home gave him a little too much freedom. You never know what’s next with this mastermind of fraud.