A partial list of the cars they bought is as follows:
This is a list that would make even the most dedicated car collectors jealous.
Unfortunately, you can't take your supercar with you to prison. Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of all of the cars and several motorcycles also bought with cash from defrauded investors. Hopefully, the car dealership (or dealerships) who sold them isn't hit too hard in all of this. On top of that, the schemers could face a years-long prison sentence. It sounds like they had fun while it lasted, as much of the cash that wasn't spent on cars or motorcycles was spent on a private jet, lavish trips, expensive jewelry and lots of gambling.
The three gentlemen began their scheme in 2013, claiming that they would purchase outstanding consumer debt like student loans, credit card bills, and bank debts. They would then attempt to collect on that debt themselves or resell it again at a higher price. Sounds like a shady business to begin with, right? Well, instead of actually doing it, they created fake companies, opened fraudulent bank accounts, and forged records to make it look like they were legitimate. Of course, they couldn't keep this up forever and the feds eventually caught onto their scheme.
Those defrauded by the scammers include small business owners, restaurateurs, doctors, lawyers, contractors, accountants, and even some bankers. The total number of victims exceeds 400 and involves people from all over the country. You'd think a banker would be able to spot this sort of scheme a mile away, but for many, the promise of easy money is too much to pass up. The FBI is urging anyone else who believes they have been caught up in this scheme to contact them by email at MerrillLedford@fbi.gov.
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