CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Martin Hogan, 52, of Montreal, Quebec, CA, with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and international money laundering conspiracy. The charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
“We will not allow anyone, including foreign actors, illegally enrich themselves by preying on our elderly,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Criminals who defraud and threaten U.S. citizens by phone will not escape justice by placing their calls from outside our country. As this case shows, we will find you, and we will bring you to justice.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen said, “Telemarketing schemes that attempt to take advantage of the elderly as evidenced in the indictment of Mr. Hogan are among the most reprehensible, and IRS Criminal Investigation remains committed to using the resources of our agents and financial expertise to bring these criminals to justice along with our law enforcement partners.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that between September 2015 and March 2020, the defendant conspired with multiple co-defendants to defraud elderly victims using a fraudulent telemarketing scheme.
According to the indictment, Hogan would place telephone calls from Canada to victims in the United States and tell victims that they had won the Canadian lottery. However, before collecting their winnings, victims had to first pay the taxes, brokerage fee, and/or custom fees due in connection with the winnings. Victims were instructed by the defendant and others to pay these taxes, brokerage fees, and/or custom fees by wire transferring funds to a bank account in Rochester, NY, controlled by co-defendant Bernard Perkins, or by mailing funds to Perkins or addresses in the United States controlled by co-defendants Anthony Laughing, Jr., Cory LaPlant and others.
After receiving funds from victims, defendants Bernard Perkins, Anthony Laughing, Jr., and Cory LaPlant would keep a small portion of the funds and then pay co-defendants Devlin Laughing and Brenda Garrow to smuggle the remaining funds from the United States to the defendant Hogan in Canada.
As a result of this fraudulent telemarketing scheme, defendant Hogan and his co-defendants caused approximately 37 victims over the age of 55 to mail approximately 200 packages and wire transfer funds totaling approximately $2 million.
The defendant was extradited from Jamaica to the United States and was arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen. Hogan is being held pending a detention hearing on March 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
Defendants Bernard Perkins, Anthony Laughing, Jr., Devlin Laughing, and Cory LaPlant, were previously convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Defendant Brenda Garrow was previously convicted and sentenced to three years probation.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, Border Enforcement Security Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Jamaica.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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