Families facing such issues as divorce and child custody arrangements may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. In Illinois and states around the country, many people may not fully understand all of the services, resources and risks associated with making preparations like child support payments until they’re in the middle of it themselves. That’s why so many can find themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous business models and fraud. A recent fraud case serves as a disturbing example of how unsuspecting parents, and their kids, can be victimized by deceptive practices.
In as little as two years, investigators estimate that victims were defrauded of around $600,000 in child support payments by three suspects. The alleged offenders are accused of operating a fake child support collection company that appeared, in many cases, to be affiliated with state-run services. In fact, they even convinced some victims to choose their fraudulent services over court-ordered arrangements in some instances.
If convicted of all the charges they face, the three defendants will likely be handed substantial fines and prison sentences. They’ve been indicted by a grand jury on numerous offenses, including extortion, money laundering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice to name a few.
Three different business names were used and the defendants allegedly searched out victims through public internet and phone records. They would then coerce parents into using their services, instructing them to forward their child support payments to their nearest fake location. However, all funds ended up in one place.
Not only were victims allegedly cheated out of thousands of dollars but they were even harassed in some cases. To avoid being scammed in a similar way, parents are advised to use family court services and knowledgeable attorneys to conduct and document child support transactions.
Source: walb.com, “Three indicted in massive child support fraud scheme,” Christian McKinney, Lydia Jennings, June 13, 2013