Law enforcement officials fanned out across the United States, taking 61 people into custody in connection with an alleged call center scam. Among those arrested was a 49-year-old Fort Myers man who now faces white collar crime charges that include wire fraud and money laundering.
Homeland Security officials raided the local man's home on a weekday morning last week. Officers said the suspect's daughter emerged from the house to say she was on her way to school. Her backpack was searched, officials said, and inside it they found fake ID cards, debit cards, a thumb drive and other items. The girl whose age was not listed has not been charged.
Homeland Security officials said the Fort Myers man was a "runner" in the operation. That is, someone who transfers money from prepaid cards to bank accounts and elsewhere. Officials said they have video of the man making bank deposits of fraudulently obtained money.
He is also alleged to have pretended to be an IRS attorney.
Among the federal felonies he faces now is impersonation of an officer. Authorities said he could be sentenced to as much as 45 years in prison and be fined up to $1 million if convicted on all charges.
Other news reports indicate the alleged scam affected up to 15,000 people. It is believed they might have more than $300 million.
People were also arrested in Texas and India. The operation is believed to be based in India.
White collar crime charges carry possible harsh sentences. An experienced Lee County criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and freedom.