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AG Cooper joins "Operation Roaming Charge" targeting telemarketing fraud

Release date: 10/5/2004

North Carolina a national leader in fighting telemarketing fraud

 

Raleigh – Attorney General Roy Cooper today announced his participation in “Operation Roaming Charge,” the most successful and extensive multinational enforcement operation ever directed at telemarketing fraud schemes.

Since the start of Operation Roaming Charge, Cooper and at least 29 other attorneys general have brought a total of 274 actions against illegal telemarketing operations. North Carolina leads the nation in enforcing Do Not Call laws and fighting telemarketing fraud with a total of 19 settlements, consent judgments and lawsuits.

“Telemarketing fraud artists have become more sophisticated in their quest to rob consumers of their hard-earned money. They operate without scruples and across state and international borders,” said Cooper. “We are determined to work with law enforcement across the country and in other countries to stop these scammers.”

The ongoing action began on Jan. 1, 2004, and involved unprecedented coordination at the state, national and international levels to combat telemarketing fraud. Schemes uncovered in this operation include every major category of telemarketing fraud: do-not-call violations; phony lotteries, prize and sweepstakes schemes; offers of nonexistent investments; bogus offers of “pre-approved” credit-cards or credit-card protection; employment and business opportunity swindles; tax fraud schemes; and “recovery room” schemes, in which criminals pretend to be members of law enforcement agencies who claim they can help telemarketing fraud victims recover their losses.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that fraudulent telemarketers using these schemes swindle as much as $40 billion a year from unsuspecting U.S. consumers. Investigations and actions included in Operation Roaming Charge led to the discovery of more than one million victims who suffered losses totaling more than $1 billion.

This initiative involved coordination among the National Association of Attorneys General, United States Attorneys, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the North American Securities Administrators Association, and numerous other federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Consumers who suspect telemarketing fraud should report it to Cooper’s office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state. Cooper also encouraged North Carolinians to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry as a way to cut down on unwanted telemarketing calls and make fraudulent calls easier to spot. To sign up, consumers can to go to www.nocallsnc.com or call 1-888-382-1222 within North Carolina from the number they wish to register.

A list of telemarketing actions included in Operation Roaming Charge is available at www.ncdoj.com .


 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL Summary of State Attorney General Telemarketing Actions January 1-September 30, 2004

 

State Action Reason Defendant(s)
Arkansas Filed Suit DNC1 Christopher Fischer and Advantage Satellite d/b/a Satellite Solutions
California Settlement DNC American Home Craft, Bradley Allen Smith, and Brent Frenchak
  Settlement Fraud Integrated Credit Solutions and Lighthouse Credit Foundation
  Filed Federal Suit DNC L.M.A Marketing d/b/a Mortgage Concepts
  Filed Suit DNC Launer, California Consumer Center, CCC Do Not Call, The State Consumer Board, and CCC
  Filed Suit TCPA2 violation Fax.Com and Two Owners
Colorado Settlement Fraud New Access
  Settlement DNC Home Equity Solutions
  Assurance of Disc.3 DNC Creative Mortgage
  Assurance of Disc. DNC Global Satellite
  Assurance of Disc.   Request Carpet Cleaning
  Cease and Desist Notice   Accurate Professional Services
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Affordable Health Care Solutions
  Cease and Desist N. DNC American Communications of the Triad
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Beyond Marketing
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Brokers Assistance Corporation
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Circulation Services, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Direct Reservation Centers
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Elkton Mortgage Company, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Equity One
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Family Healthcare Services, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Gazette Telegraph
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Guardian Communications, Inc.

Contact: Angelita Plemmer, Director of Communications, National Association of Attorneys General, (202) 326-6047.

1 Do-Not-Call Violation(s) 2 Telephone Consumer Protection Act 3 Assurance of Discontinuance

  Cease and Desist N. DNC High Plains Mortgage Brokers, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Internet Marketing Group, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Meridian Mortgage, Inc.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Pro Crew Sales, Ltd.
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Request Cleanica
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Rio Grande Mortgage Company
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Select Services
  Cease and Desist N. DNC Troescher Typing Service
Florida Settlement Deceptive Advertising Memberworks
  Consent Judgment Deceptive Trade Practices Spectrum Business Products, Inc., Summit Ridge, Inc., L.T. Thompson & Co., Inc., Regal Corporation, Random Stationers Corp., Random Stationers, Inc., M.C. Collins, Inc., Arthur & Diane Snow Family Partnership, Arthur Snow, Dean Snow, Helen Lavin, Phyllis Caccioppo, and Lisa Landress
Illinois Settlement Fraudulent Fundraising Telemarketing Associates, Inc., Armet, Inc., and Richard Troia
  Settlement Unregistered Charity Peter Ruderschmidt and Veteran Police Association, Vet-Pol Advertising, Inc. d/b/a V.P.O., Inc.
  Filed Suit Deceptive Advertising Clear Three Corp. and Canio Carl Saluzzi
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices Global Benefits Group Corp., Eileen de Oliveira, Leonardo de Oliveira, John Doe 1 d/b/a International Marketing Service, and John Doe 2 d/b/a Euro Banca
Iowa Settlement Fraud New Access
  AVC4 Deceptive Trade Practices Brian MacGregor d/b/a CPI, American Values, U-Talk Limited, Wellnet, Blitz Media, and Washball
  Injunction & Freeze Deceptive Trade Practices Paul Ackerman d/b/a A&A Marketing
  Barred from Work List Broker Richard Panas

4 Assurance of Voluntary Compliance

  Filed Suit Facilitating Fraud Teledraft, Al Slaten, and Dan Wolf
  Order to Impound Cross-border Fraud Mail addressed to “Provincial Prize Reporting Associates” or “Gold Coast Publishing”
Kansas Settlement DNC American Security d/b/a US Alert
  Settlement DNC Security Federal Mortgage Corp.
  Settlement DNC Thermal King Windows
  Settlement DNC Vacation Connection
  Settlement DNC Wall Street Rare Coins
  Settlement DNC Wireless Retail
  Settlement DNC Wright Business School
  Summary Judgment DNC Grand Vacations Intl.
  Consent Judgment DNC Bankers Life & Casualty
  Consent Judgment DNC Impressa
  Consent Judgment DNC Qitel Communications, Inc.
  Consent Judgment DNC Tele-Ten Marketing
  Default Judgment DNC CSI Consulting
Kentucky Settlement DNC JJJ Marketing Inc.
Louisiana AVC Deceptive Trade Practices U.S. Grant Resources, LLC, National Grants, LLC, John B. Rodgers, Laurel A. Rodgers, and Jason Martin
  Arrests Same John B. Rodgers, Laurel A. Rodgers, and Jason Martin
Maine Settlement Unfair Trade Practices Horizon
  Filed Suit Unfair Trade Practices All-Pro Telemarketing Associates Corp. and International Law Enforcement Games, Inc. d/b/a International Police & Fire Games
Massachusetts 2 yrs. in prison Multiple Cts. of Larceny David Gill- 2 yrs. in House of Corrections followed by 3 years of probation
  Consent Judgment DNC Allied Mortgage
  Consent Judgment Misrepresentation Integrated Credit Solutions
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices Cambridge Credit Counseling Corporation, John Puccio, Richard Puccio, Kurt Meyer, Chris Viale
Michigan Settlement Failure to Disclose Information Neal Saferstein, and Mercury Marketing of Delaware, Inc. d/b/a Mercury Internet, GoInternet.Net, Inc., and Venus Voice Mail Services
  Settlement Deceptive Trade Practices Talk Too Me, LLC
  Settlement Fraud New Access
Minnesota Settlement Fraud New Access
  Settlement Unlawful Billing 00 Operator, Talk Too Me, LLC, and American Directory Services, Inc.
  Suit; now temporary relief Unlawful Billing AT&T
  Suit; Obtained Order Slamming UKI Communications, Inc.
  Filed Suit Slamming LCR Telecommunications L.L.C.
  Filed Suit Fraudulent Practices Midwest Gold, Inc.
Missouri Settlement DNC AT&T
  Settlement DNC MCI
  Settlement DNC Marc Meghrouni
  Settlement DNC Steven Frost and 3M Management Co. d/b/a Challenge Financial Investment Corp.
  Settlement DNC Xentel, Inc.
  Agreement DNC First Union Corp.
  Agreement DNC Thomas Construction Inc.
  AVC Unsolicited Faxes Candela Corp.
  AVC Unsolicited Faxes Syneron Inc.
  Cease and Desist Order Unsolicited Faxes Fiducia Inc. d/b/a America’s Toner
  Filed Suit Unsolicited Faxes Jeff Basler and Agape Mortgage Partners Corp., f/k/a Community Capital Mortgage
  Filed Suit Unsolicited Faxes Bridge 21 Inc. and QB Easy Inc.
  Filed Suit Unsolicited Faxes Global Vacations USA Inc. f/k/a Tati’s Travel the World CD’s Inc., and EZ Travel the World Inc.
  Filed Suit Unsolicited Faxes Info. 4 U Ltd., Right 2 Vote Ltd., Greatgain Ltd., and Top 20 Ltd.
  Filed Suit Unsolicited Faxes Neil Luxenberg, Blue Jay Inc., and Red Rose International Ltd.
Montana Settlement Fraud New Access
Nebraska Settlement Fraud New Access
Nevada Sentencing Securities Fraud Lawrence Yanez
  Criminal Complaint Unregistered Telephone Seller Paul Gary Gershenson a/k/a Paul Sele, Paul Selmea, Paul Curtis, Paul Curtin, and Devid Peris
New York Settlement Deceptive Trade Practices All-Pro Telemarketing Associates Corp. and Mark Gelvan
  Guilty Plea Unregistered Professional Fundraiser Dominic J. D’Alfonso
North Carolina Settlement DNC American Communications
  Settlement DNC AT&T
  Settlement DNC Bucksmasters, Ltd.
  Settlement DNC Barrier Island Station
  Settlement DNC Carpet DryClean and Preston Laughinghouse
  Settlement DNC Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation
  Settlement DNC EBN Financial
  Settlement DNC Fax.Com
  Settlement DNC New Horizon Realty
  Settlement DNC Optimum Mortgage Group
  Settlement DNC TelFraud-Debt Management Services, Inc. and Dale Buird, Jr.
  Settlement DNC Warrior Custom Golf
  Consent Judgment Deceptive Telemarketing National Association of Credit Service, Inc. et al.
  Consent Judgment Misrepresentation Venus Voice Mail Services and GoInternet.net a/k/a Mercury Internet Services
  Federal TRO and PI5 DNC TNT DBS Marketing, Christopher Fischer d/b/a Satellite Solutions
  Preliminary Injunction DNC Vitana Financial Corporation et al.
  Filed Suit DNC MST, et al.
  Filed Suit DNC Simple Credit et al.
  Filed Suit False Representation Theodore E. Bartek and Network Services, Inc. d/b/a Maxi Finance
North Dakota Settlement Misrepresentation Fantasy Vacations, Inc. and Cape Canaveral Tour & Travel d/b/a E Tour & Travel
  Settlement Misrepresentation Global Mindlink Foundation, Inc. and Select International Donors, Inc.
  Settlement Fraud New Access
  Filed Suit Deceptive Selling Practices WebSmart
Ohio 1 yr. in prison 4 Felony cts. Cory Banks- 4 Felony cts. of theft and violations of the Telephone Sales Solicitation Act
  18 months in prison 19 cts.;1 violation Donald Howard- 19 cts. of theft, 1 violation of Telephone Solicitation Act
  6 months in prison Fed. Offenses Shawn Rawley- Aiding and Abetting Mail Fraud and Receiving Stolen Property
  Settlement Fraud New Access
  Settlement DNC Shelterguard, Inc.
  Federal Suit DNC Better Homes Improvement
Oklahoma Settlement DNC Satellite Solutions and Christopher Fischer
  Filed Suit DNC Consumer Benefits Group
Oregon Settlement Deceptive Trade Practices Continuity Partners, Inc.
  Settlement Misrepresentation Global Mindlink Foundation Inc., Select International Donors, Inc., Denise Battista

5 Temporary Restraining Order; Permanent Injunction

  AVC DNC Bridge Capital Corporation
  AVC DNC Calvin Jay Collins, individually and d/b/a Jewell’s Five Star Carpet Cleaning
  AVC DNC Debt Solutions, Inc.
  AVC Unlawful Trade Practices Encore Marketing International Inc., d/b/a Shopper’s Discount, Encore Preferred Traveler, Villas of the World Travel Club, Premier Fitness & Wellness, Home & Garden Savings Club, National Legal Shield, Creditexpert, Health & Beauty, ID Watch, Fortunebuilder, and/or Medadvantage Health Care Savings Program
  AVC DNC Impressa Inc.
  AVC DNC The Pet Pantry International, Inc.
Pennsylvania Settlement DNC Comcast Cable Communications Management LLC
  Settlement DNC Fam Trip Travel.Com, Inc. d/b/a Family Trip Travel
  Settlement DNC Fiber Clean of Pennsylvania, Inc.
  Settlement DNC Flagship Resort Development Corp.
  Settlement DNC GutterGuard Inc.
  Settlement Deceptive Advertising Memberworks
  Settlement Unlawful Billing Talk Too Me, LLC d/b/a 00 Operator Services and American Directory Services
  Settlement DNC Time Life Inc.
  Settlement DNC Tru-Tone Hearing Aid Centers, Inc.
  Settlement DNC Vacation Network Inc. and Impressa Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Bension Aboud, Satellite Systems Direct Inc., and Elephant Wireless Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Power Plus Mortgage, Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Professional Water Services Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Refinance Group, Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Stanley G. Carrier d/b/a Solartherm Remodeling Company Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Sunset Mortgage Company LLP
  Filed Suit DNC Tracey Eisner-Harvey d/b/a TriState Consultants and TSC Home Renovations
  Filed Suit DNC Warrior Custom Golf Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Water Stoppers Inc.
South Dakota Civil Investigative Demand Deceptive Trade Practices Continuity Partners, Inc.
Texas Settlement DNC ABIO Financial Group
  Settlement DNC Auto Finance 4 Pre-Owned Cars
  Settlement DNC Joe Cookston & Sons, Inc.
  Settlement DNC Joseph C. Sparks d/b/a Area Wide Auto Glass
  Settlement DNC Kiwi Services Inc.
  Settlement DNC Life Corp.
  Settlement DNC Longhorn Yacht Club Inc.
  Settlement Fraud New Access
  Settlement DNC Prosource Roofing
  Judgment False Charity Fundraiser Gayln Pat Davis & David Moran a/k/a Texas Police Officers Alliance
  Judgment DNC William H. Marra
  Judgment Unlawful Billing Talk Too Me, L.L.C. and 00 Operator Services
  AVC DNC Barry Hicks d/b/a A to Z Movers
  AVC DNC Mortgage Investor Corp.
  Filed Suit Misrepresentation Cross Country Bank Inc., Applied Card Systems Inc., and Rocco A. Abessinio
Vermont Settlement Misrepresentation Integrated Credit Solutions
Washington Consent Judgment Telephone Solicitation Act Violations Debt Solutions, Inc., DSI Financial, Inc, DSI Direct, Inc., Pacific Consolidation Services, Kenneth Schwartz, and Jennifer Ruth Whalen
West Virginia Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices Cross Country Bank Inc., Applied Card Systems Inc., and Rocco A. Abessinio
Wisconsin Settlement DNC First Banc Mortgage LLC
  Settlement Deceptive Trade Practices New Access Communications
  Judgment DNC P&M Consulting and Marktel II
  Judgment DNC Platinum Marketing Group
  Judgment DNC Soho Marketing
  Judgment DNC The Tungsten Group
  Consent Judgment DNC Trugreen Limited Partnership d/b/a TruGreen Chemlawn
  Default Judgment Deceptive Advertising U.S. Grant Resources, National Grants, John Rogers and Laurel Rogers
  AVC Problems with Disclosures Cingular, Spring, and Verizon Wireless
  Consent Judgment Offer Deceptive Trade Practices Amerivoice Telecommunications, Inc. and Louis Miller
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices American Travel and Management
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices Cross Country Bank
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices Progressive Business Publications, Inc.
  Filed Suit DNC Strategic Marketing & Innovations Solutions, Inc.
  Filed Suit Deceptive Trade Practices WebXites, L.P.