Peruvian Man Pleads Guilty to Overseeing Call Centers that Threatened and Defrauded Spanish-Speaking U.S. Consumers (DOJ Release)
[H]auptman was a former registered securities agent in Iowa and convinced multiple victims in Iowa, Wyoming, and elsewhere to invest in numerous business entities Hauptman created. Hauptman promised tportunity to make a greater return on the investment. During the course of the invehe victims the repayment of their capital investment with interest, along with an opstment period, victims received occasional payments of a portion of the interest due, but when victims attempted to get their money back, Hauptman ignored their requests, or lied to the victims as to the status of their investments. An investigation revealed that Hauptman used a substantial portion of the funds received by the victims for his own personal use, without the victims' knowledge, to include his mortgage payments, rent payments, and credit card payments, among other personal expenses.
[G]uerra, Hidalgo, Hermoza, and their co-conspirators in Peru falsely posed as attorneys affiliated with the U.S. government and U.S. courts; they threatened victims with deportation, detention, negative marks on their credit reports, confiscation of property, and community service requirements in order to obtain payments from them. U.S. consumers lost more than $1.5 million to the defendants' fraud scheme. Guerra's sentencing is set for Monday, June 1, 2020.. . .[G]uerra, Hidalgo, and Hermoza managed and operated a Peruvian call center called Everglades, which was based in Lima, Peru, and which worked in partnership with Angeluz Florida Corporation in Miami, Florida. The defendants and other call center employees in Peru used Internet-based telephone calls to lie to and threaten Spanish-speaking victims in the United States. The callers falsely accused the victims of having failed to accept delivery of certain products and claimed that the victims owed thousands of dollars in fines and that court proceedings would be brought against them. In reality, the victims had never ordered these products and nothing had been delivered.The defendants and other call center employees claimed that the consumers could resolve the supposed debts and avoid the threatened consequences if they immediately paid a "settlement fee." Consumers who contested these settlement fees were told that failure to pay could lead to harmed credit, arrest, deportation, or seizure of property.
With restaurants and schools shuttered during national lockdown, prices and demand for essential agricultural products has fallen. Farmers who have already endured a slew of financial hardships over the past few years - from the U.S.-China trade war that sent scores of farms out of business to floods that wiped out entire harvests - are now left with an abundance of food that they can't sell.
Major producers including Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods and Cargill had to shutter plants in April after workers contracted the virus. Now facilities including a Tyson Foods pork plant in Logansport, Ind., will begin to restart this week.But the companies may have to play catch-up because of falling livestock slaughter rates. For example, cattle slaughter fell 37% last week compared to the same period in 2019, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.