Six people have been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection to a $3 million debt collection scheme that operated out of Charlotte.
Speaking at a news release, the U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said that the individuals that were charged on Friday used intimidation, threats, and lies, including posing as lawyers and law enforcement, to scare victims into paying often non-existent debts.
Rhonda Renee Scott, 52; John Wayne Perry, Jr. 36; Timothy Scott, Jr., 51; Paris Jontue Taylor, 37; and Rayshawn Lamont Tyler, 42, all of Charlotte, were all charged with mail and wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud offenses, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The list also included Perry, Taylor and Tyler, they were charged with one count of money laundering conspiracy.
A related case has also led to separate charges against Miranda Bailey, 29, of Charlotte, with one count of wire fraud and mail fraud conspiracy.
The release revealed that the suspects operated the fake debt collection company, at times called RJ Financial, from at least Jan. 2013 to Nov. 2014. RJ Financial allegedly defrauded thousands of people across the United States.
The debt collection company, Berkeley Hughes and Associates, was owned by Cedric Clark. The Prosecutors revealed that BHA tricked thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars. They also revealed that BHA coerced people to pay money, even when they didn't owe any, and that BHA made $6 million from people who had no money.
The ruthless scammer harassed family members, even a victim's son who has autism, and posed as law enforcement threatening to arrest people. BHA would sometimes play a police scanner in the background of calls for effect.
BHA used a threatening script for calls, would bad-mouth victims to their bosses and would search the web for more personal information they could use against victims.