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Scammers caught!
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

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Scammers Caught!

It may seem like the wheels of justice turn slowly, but scammers are being caught and convicted all the time! Here is a list of individuals who have been indicted and scammers who have been convicted!

  • Rover Car Parts Scam - David Wardell who worked at a Land Rover Plant and his brother-in-law, Darren Holloway ran a  Land Rover parts scam. The Land Rover employee bought car parts that had been stolen from the company's Solihull plant at boot sales before selling them on eBay. Wardell (32), of Cedar Drive, West Heath, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to handling stolen parts. Holloway (40), of Fulbrook Close, Weoley Castle, also admitted handling the parts and was given a community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.
  • Flu Shots Scam - May 1, 2007 - Iyad Abu El Hawa, 36, pleaded guilty in September and was sentenced to 4 years in a flu shot scam. He was charged with health care fraud and drug misbranding in connection with fake shots given during a health fair at the Baytown refinery. El Hawa was a citizen of Palestine who came to the U.S. from Israel 13 years ago, and will be deported after completing his sentence. His co-defendant, Martha Denise Gonzales, also plead guilty last September. Instead of vaccine, the syringes were filled with sterile water and marked with phony bar codes. The fake flu vaccine was injected into more than 1,100 Exxon Mobil employees over two days in October 2005.
  • Stock investment scam - Pump-and-Dump - John P. Tomkins is accused of threatening harm to two mutual fund companies unless they bought shares of Navarre Corp. and 3Com Corp. The alleged letter-writing scam was meant to persuade investment companies to inflate the price of publicly-traded companies in which he had invested. Had it worked, it could have netted the machinist an unknown profit.
  • Mail Fraud / False debits - April 25, 2007 - The company,"NorCal CSI", Kenneth Cervellin, 61, plead guilty  to one count of mail fraud and his son, Ronald Cervellin, plead guilty to one count of concealing knowledge of a felony Tuesday in a scheme that defrauded about 1,200 customers out of more than $200,000, authorities said. They defrauded CSI customers by debiting $25 from their accounts without their knowledge, the release states. If a customer complained, the money was returned and the file marked so the account would not be debited again. Kenneth Cervellin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and Ronald Cervellin faces up to three years in prison.
  • College degree scam - April 12, 2007 - Police arrested Professor Pumela Msweli-Mbanga (44), and ex-dean at the university of KwaZulu-Natal.  He is accused of accepting R16 150 ($ ?) for ensuring that a doctoral degree was awarded to Nobulele Potswana (54). Potswana is currently a lecturer at the university's Westville Campus. They are each charged with one count of corruption and two alternative counts of corruption.
  • Telemarketing scam - April 6, 2007 - A Florida man plead not guilty in an alleged $12 million telemarketing scam.  The man, Peter Porcelli II, 55, of Oldsmar, FL, was accused of scamming more than $12 million from U.S. consumers, who unwittingly signed up for bogus credit cards He pleaded not guilty Thursday during his federal arraignment on 19 felony counts and was freed on $1 million unsecured bond. Authorities say he defrauded or tried to scam at least 165,000 Americans, many with poor credit histories, by offering consumers a MasterCard credit card for a one-time processing fee ranging from $160 to $500. The victims were then sent a "benefits package" consisting of offers that were available for free to the public, along with other promotional literature, general information on repairing credit, and an "acceptance form" for a prepaid card that allow purchases up to a set limit or up to the cash deposit backing the card; none of which are actual "credit cards".
  • Spam King - MySpace has filed suit against Sanford Wallace, the alleged  "spam king" and his affiliated companies from using MySpace, the social-networking site. The suit, filed in Los Angeles, accuses Wallace of violating state and federal laws including the federal Can-Spam Act and California's antispam and antiphishing statutes. MySpace says that Wallace used a phishing scam in October to fraudulently access victim's MySpace profiles. He then (allegedly) created profiles, groups and forums on MySpace, and spammed thousands of users with unwanted advertisements to send victims to his Web sites.
    Wallace has also been sued by the Federal Trade Commission and companies including America Online and Concentric Network Corp. In May, Wallace and his company were ordered by a federal judge to pay $4,089,500 in penalties.
  • Ebay Automobile sales scam - The Monmouth County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has informed the Internet Crime Complaint Center
    (IC3) that Richard J. Gorman has been sentenced to five years in state prison and ordered to pay restitution
    in the amount of $2479.40. Complaints filed with IC3 alleged that Gorman listed multiple vehicles on
    EBay which he accepted money for and did not deliver.
  • Romanian eBay Crime ring - More than twenty suspects have been indicted as the result of an ongoing, multi-agency investigation into Romanian crime ring. Representatives from the Chicago Field Office of the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), the Chicago Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Chicago Police Department announced the charges together on December 12th, 2006. Altogether, the defendants and others allegedly illegally obtained more then $5 million dollars from victims in a variety of schemes. The majority of victims believed they were purchasing an item from the EBay auction site. After unsuccessfully bidding on items, they were told they were receiving a second chance offer from the seller. Victims then wired money one of the defendants who posed as the seller or the seller’s agent. Investigators believe the fraudulent solicitations originated from, and a substantial portion of the proceeds were
    transmitted to, unidentified co-schemers located outside the United States, most believed to be in Romania. Most of the money was collected at Western Union locations in Chicago, where many of the alleged perpetrators lived. Other victims were sent an email from the crime ring informing them that their EBay accounts would be terminated if they didn’t reply back with their password and other account information. They would then use this information to take over the victim’s account and use it to rip off other EBay users. EBay sellers were victimized as well. The thieves would bid on an item but would not pay through PayPal. Instead, they would persuade the seller to put the money into a fake escrow account. The seller would ship the product and the escrow account would vanish.
    Eight defendants were arrested in the Chicago area the day of the announcement, five were already in custody, one is expected to surrender later, and six are fugitives at this time. Each of the defendants is charged with one count of wire fraud. If convicted, they each face a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Court would also order restitution and determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed.
  • Steven Pruette  - In March of 2006 IC3 received notification that another perpetrator is behind bars. Thanks to the diligence of a lieutenant in Oconee County GA and the cooperation of the Chicago Police Department, Steven Pruette is facing at least five felony charges. Pruette allegedly sent the scam victim, an Oconee County resident, a fraudulent second chance offer posing as the original seller of an item on EBay. After wiring the money, the victim learned that EBay was in no way involved in the transaction and he promptly filed a complaint with the IC3. The complaint was forwarded to his local sheriff’s department. After reviewing the complaint, Lt. David Kilpatrick advised Western Union of the fraud. Pruette, who had been using a Miami, FL address, was nabbed when he entered a Western Union location in Chicago, IL and attempted to pick up the funds. Pruette is a Romanian national and is currently being held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. He is believed to be part of a multi-state cell which sends funds to Romania and other countries to support terrorist efforts.
  • Martin Haber - Analysts IC3 were pleased to learn that a lengthy and complex case had finally been closed when Martin Haber, the subject of numerous complaints over a two-year span, pled guilty to federal charges of mail and wire fraud. Haber was the owner and operator of a business named South Dixie Rare Coins in Miami, FL. Haber used the EBay auction site to offer collectibles and rare coins which he never delivered. The initial investigation began after several IC3 complaints against Haber were referred to local and state agencies in Florida. Despite two arrests by local law enforcement for his fraudulent activity, Haber continued to sell on
    EBay. While the IC3 continued to receive complaints about Haber, victims were filing with other consumer reporting agencies and local police departments as well. In January of 2005 FBI joined in the investigation. In all, 188 complaints were received totaling more than $400,000. The FBI investigation revealed that Haber used EBay accounts belonging to friends, family members and business associates to continue his scheme. By assuming the identities of legitimate EBay sellers, Haber was able to hide his true history from potential buyers. While many of the accounts Haber used were suspended by EBay because of buyer complaints, he continued to sell on the site until federal search warrants were executed on his home and business. Haber will be sentenced for his crimes in August of 2006. At that time he will face a statutory minimum of twenty years for each of the six counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud, fines of up to $250,000, and can be ordered to make full restitution to the victims.
  • John Bombard has been charged with hacking into two computer systems, establishing a "bot" network of compromised computers, and launching a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against Akamai Technologies. According to the United States Attorney’s Office, John Bombard has been charged in federal court with two counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. The information alleges that in June of 2004 Bombard launched the DDOS attack causing a significant increase in web traffic to a number of the Cambridge-based company’s domain name system (DNS) servers. This attack caused a widespread loss of service to users by consuming the bandwith of the network and overloading its computational resources. Affected Akamai customers had access to their websites slowed or rendered inaccessible for a period of time. Many of these customers filed complaints with the IC3. The information also alleges that the attack against Akamai originated from a “bot” network. A “bot” is a computer program that seeks out and places itself on vulnerable computers and runs silently in the background until it receives instructions from a controlling computer. The information alleges that Bombard compromised the systems using a variant of the GAOBOT worm, a software program capable of reproducing itself and spreading from one computer to the next over a network. If convicted, Bombard faces up the two years imprisonment to be followed by one year of supervised release and a $200,000 fine on each of the charges.


Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  - Definition of scam, fraud, etc.Legal disclaimer / corrections / complaints  -  Privacy Policy
Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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