Five individuals were arrested this morning after being charged in a 22-count indictment relating to an India-based telemarketing and email marketing conspiracy, which victimized America’s seniors.
The indictment charges Gina Marcks, 69, Ladda Boonlert, 71, Charles Hill, 64, Wendi A. Maryniak, 44, and Roger Bond, 36, all of Las Vegas, Nevada, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and email marketing; 16 counts of wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and email marketing; five counts of aggravated identity theft; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, from about June 2015 through about April 2017, Marcks, Boonlert, Hill, Maryniak, Bond, and others conspired to commit a telemarketing and email marketing scheme that targeted seniors. Callers located primarily in India allegedly contacted victims in the United States and falsely represented that the callers were agents or employees of the IRS, state or local government agencies, law firms, or loan companies. The callers falsely represented that the victims had outstanding taxes due, open collection accounts, or other financial, civil, or criminal liabilities requiring immediate action. The callers threatened the victims with arrest, lawsuits, or other adverse action if the victims did not immediately send money, including via wire transfers. In other instances, the callers falsely stated that the victim had qualified for a loan, which would be disbursed once the victim sent initial payment via wire transfer or gift card.
The indictment further alleges that victims were also contacted via email. The emails falsely purported to be from law firms, lawyers, judges, and public officials, and claimed that the victims had outstanding taxes, personal debts, or other financial or legal obligations. The emails threatened imminent adverse action, such as arrest. Once a victim responded telephonically, the callers demanded that payments be sent to the defendants via wire transfer.
The defendants are alleged to have fraudulently obtained approximately $2,455,547 in payments from victims residing throughout the United States.
Marcks, Boonlert, Hill, Maryniak, and Bond made their initial appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe, who set a trial for February 25, 2020. If convicted on all counts, the defendants each face up to 30 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and telemarketing and email marketing; 30 years per count of wire fraud; telemarketing and email marketing; two years per count of aggravated identify theft; and 10 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The case was the product of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns is prosecuting the case.
The charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.