Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Junk fax scam brings guilty plea in Wichita

November 26, 2008


— A Florida business analyst pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his role in a junk fax scheme that defrauded business owners across the nation of millions of dollars.

Brandon Cook and seven other employees of a Florida consulting firm are accused of fax-blasting small businesses with fraudulent offers to help them sell their companies.

Cook was a business analyst for PBS Global Inc., where he received a 35 percent commission of fees collected from the company’s clients.

Cook, 36, admitted in a plea agreement filed Tuesday in U.S. District in Kansas that he knowingly made false representations during September 2005 phone calls to the owners of Engine House Hobbies in Wichita.

Prosecutors contend in the indictment that the owner of Engine House Hobbies agreed to help in the government’s investigation by responding to a fax soliciting business owners who were interested in selling their company. Engine House Hobbies was told that the business could be sold for up to $1.5 million and that PBS Global would guarantee a buyer for $850,000 if the company would buy a third-party valuation costing $8,200.

Cook faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on Feb. 9.


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