Tue July 10, 2012
Feds crack down on cross-border fraud
Federal prosecutors are seeking to bring nearly two-dozen Canadians here for trial, as they announced a series of arrests in a cross-border computer-based scam.
At a late afternoon news conference Tuesday in Buffalo, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said the scam went right across the U.S. targeting people in need of some cash to deal with the financial crises of hard times.
"There was a request for an upfront payment," said Hochul.
Customs Enforcement Director John Morton appeared at the news conference to announced the charges. Morton and Hochul said more than 2,000 victims lost $2.7 million.
Victims were lured in by websites and newspaper ads that offered loans to people with poor credit. They had to pay upfront fees and never received the loans.
Twenty-three of those charged, including the alleged ringleader, are Canadian. Ten are Americans from Michigan and New York City.
If the Canadians are brought here for trial and convicted, they would begin their prison times in the U.S., although they could eventually be sent home.