Woman found guilty in $25 million telemarketing scam
A federal jury in Atlanta found a Marietta woman guilty Monday on charges connected to a $25 million telemarketing fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Kara Singleton Adams, 40, was convicted on nine counts of wire fraud, seven counts of structuring financial transactions and two counts of conspiracy, the news release said. She will be sentenced Jan. 5.
Three co-conspirators already had been convicted, including Adams’ husband, 35-year-old Jason James Eyer of Marietta. Eyer, along with James Adolph Schoenholz, 39, of Atlanta, and Brittany Dunphy, 40, of Orlando, pleaded guilty in the scheme.
According to authorities, the group, using various company names, conspired to defraud consumers with credit card interest rate reduction programs in 2008 and 2009.
Using automated telephone calls to consumers nationwide, the companies guaranteed consumers that they could pay off their debts faster and save money because the companies could negotiate on consumers’ behalf. The program cost around $750 to $1,500, and refunds were promised if consumers did not save $4,000.
Not only did customers not get the services they were sold, in many cases, the companies did not even try to negotiate on anyone’s behalf. Fraudulent paperwork was mailed to customers to support the program’s results, and refunds were denied, authorities said.
“This case demonstrates that people need to carefully research any person or firm who makes promises to reduce or eliminate debt in a way that seems too good to be true, because fraudsters are out there seeking to prey on their economic situation,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.
The scam hit victims in 46 states with losses totaling more than $25 million, authorities said. Adams and Eyer spent millions on hotels, jewelry, cars and private tutors for their children, among other high-end pursuits.
The group tried to obstruct the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its activities, and Adams, Eyer and Schoenholz attempted to start a similar business in the Philippines in 2009, authorities said.
In a plea deal, Eyer agreed to serve 10 years 6 months in prison. He will be sentenced Jan. 5.
Sentencing dates for Schoenholz and Dunphy, who testified at Adams’ trial, have not been set.