Trio indicted in phony collection scheme run from Douglas, Ga., call center – Florida Times-Union
WAYCROSS, GA. | An Englishman living in Florida and two Coffee County residents are charged with running a phone fraud scheme in which victims transferred money to avoid court for debts they didn’t owe, a federal indictment says.
A federal grand jury indicted Alex Plumb, a native of the United Kingdom living in Florida, and Douglas residents Jennifer Smith and Derron Washington on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 11 counts of wire fraud in which more than 300 people paid out more than $200,000 they didn’t owe.
During an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Waycross on Thursday, U.S. Magistrate R. Stan Baker told the trio they could not work in any jobs that would give them access to anyone’s personal or credit information.
That is one element of the conspiracy laid out in the indictment that says between August 2015 and through May 2016 Plumb bought lists of names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, Social Security numbers and bank account information. That information was downloaded into computer software owned by Crown Oaks Media, a profit sharing agreement between Smith, Washington and Plumb, the indictment says.
“Fronters” at a call center in Douglas used the personal information to make calls in which they asserted they were from the “civil procedures division” and that the person who answered the call was responsible for unpaid debt on payday loans or credit cards, the indictment says.
Those who believed the fronters were then put in contact with Smith, Washington and other “closers” who took credit card or checking account information over the phone so the call recipients could send money rather than appear in court, the indictment says.
The victims, who lived in Georgia, Alabama and other states, then transferred money into a Crown Oaks Media account at