Three men were arrested last week, including two Canadians and a former bank executive, on charges that they bilked consumers of $30 million in a credit card telemarketing scheme, the U.S. Attorney General's office said.
Canadian law enforcement arrested Leslie Pinsky and Stephen Clark in Montreal on a U.S. warrant, while U.S. authorities arrested Raymond Payne, former vice president with HSBC Bank USA, in New York.
The three are accused of running a scheme to cold call low-income U.S. consumers and offer them credit cards for $300, David N. Kelley, U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, said in a statement.
Clark and Pinsky ran the company that made the calls and transferred money from consumer accounts into an account at HSBC Bank, according to the U.S. attorney general's office. Payne acted as the relationship manager for Clark and Pinsky at HSBC Bank and provided them with credit manuals that were given to victims of the scheme instead of actual credit cards, the U.S. attorney general alleged.
The arrests were part of a joint U.S.-Canada anti-fraud operation dubbed Project COLT. The investigation involved agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the FBI; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Quebec Provincial Police; the Montreal Police Department; the Canadian Competition Bureau; and the North Carolina Attorney General's office.
Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters