List Broker Pleads Guilty to Facilitating Elder Fraud Schemes | OPA

A New York man pleaded guilty today to supplying lists of consumers’ names and addresses for use in schemes that targeted vulnerable victims.

According to court documents, Norman Newman, 74, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, was part of a conspiracy to supply lists of potential victims to those conducting fraudulent mass-mailing schemes. From 2005 to 2016, Newman worked as a list broker and senior vice president at Macromark Inc., a Connecticut direct mail services firm. Macromark pleaded guilty to facilitating elder fraud schemes in September 2020. The conspiracy resulted in at least $9.5 million in losses to consumers.

In pleading guilty, Newman admitted to assisting clients in obtaining victim lists for deceptive mailing campaigns. These fraudulent mass mailer clients sent out deceptive letters that appeared to be personalized, when, in actuality, the same letters were sent to thousands of consumers on the mailing lists that Newman provided. Each letter was intended to mislead the consumer into believing that he or she would receive a large amount of money, a valuable prize, or personalized psychic services upon payment of a fee to the mass mailers, who often operated under false names. Fraudsters paid commissions to Newman’s employer, Macromark, for brokering the sale of lists of potential victims. Newman then received a percentage of the commissions. Newman knew the content and fraudulent character of the mass-mailings, that they were intended to defraud thousands of consumers, and that some of the consumers were vulnerable to the scams.  

While brokering lists, Newman also assisted fraudulent mass mailing clients by engaging the services of data brokerage companies that operated cooperative databases, or “co-ops,” which stored large volumes of demographic and transactional data on American consumers. During the conspiracy, Newman and others routinely provided samples of clearly fraudulent letters to employees of data brokerage companies, who then provided data to fraudulent mass mailer clients.

“Providing victim lists and other data to help fraudsters target elderly or otherwise vulnerable consumers is a crime,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice can and will hold responsible individuals and companies who knowingly commit or facilitate these schemes.”

“While working for a large data firm, the defendant purposefully supplied the names and addresses of vulnerable Americans to known fraudulent clients targeting consumers via mass-mailings.  He knew each name he provided would result in another fraudulent mailing being delivered to the consumers’ mailbox,” said Inspector in Charge Delany De León-Colón of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Criminal Investigations Group. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service holds individuals responsible for their criminal actions when using the U.S. Mail. Today’s plea agreement demonstrates the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s steadfastness in protecting consumers, especially the most vulnerable, from criminals who exploit them.”

Newman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14 and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Alistair Reader and Ehren Reynolds of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Cherry of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut are prosecuting the case.

If you believe you are a victim in this case and would like to opt-in to receive notifications or if you have any questions about your rights, please contact a Victim Witness Coordinator at (203) 821-3757 / (203)-985-9129 or through our website (https://www.justice.gov/civil/case/united-states-v-norman-newman).

For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch, visit its website at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch

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Author: Editor
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