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News : Three Local Men Charged in Telemarketing Scheme
Philadelphia July 21, 2014 -- Three local men were charged Friday with running a multi-million dollar telemarketing scam that duped more than 70,000 people out of $7.5 million.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said Blake Rubin, 30, of Huntington Valley, PA, Chase Rubin, 28, of Rydal, PA, and Justin Diaczuk, 31, of Philadelphia, Pa. orchestrated a scheme where the alleged victims bought what they falsely marketed as a general-purpose credit card that customers could use to buy merchandise over the internet and improve their credit.
The three men were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and mail fraud. The Rubin brothers were also each charged with a second count of mail fraud count, and Chase Rubin was also charged with wire fraud.
According to the criminal information, the Rubin brothers began selling the "Platinum Trust Card" in February 2009 from a telemarketing call center in Jenkintown, and Diaczuk opened a second call center in Philadelphia in January 2010. In 2011, prosecutors said the defendants changed the name of the card to the "Express Platinum Card."
At both call centers, prosecutors said the defendants allegedly directed telemarketers to contact people with bad credit and read from scripts designed to trick those people into paying approximately $79.95 to become the owner of an essentially worthless card. Instead of being a general-purpose credit card, the Platinum Trust Card could be used only on one website and, even there, it did not enable its owner to buy anything entirely on credit. Prosecutors said using the cards also had no impact on an owner’s credit rating.
The defendants allegedly operated the two call centers until January 2012, when the Federal Trade Commission obtained a federal court order shutting them down. In total, the defendants’ fraud amounted to $7.5 million.
A criminal information filing rather than an indictment usually means a plea agreement has been reached with the defendants.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014