PHOENIX– Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced four people have been indicted for their alleged involvement in a nationwide telemarketing scam targeting seniors. The indictment alleges Lukeroy Kendrick Rose, Solana DePaola, Cordell James Bess, and Dino Nick Mitchell conspired to operate Rose Marketing LLC, a telemarketing business, in order to scam seniors across the country out of thousands of dollars.
In August 2013, the Federal Trade Commission filed a civil complaint in federal court against Rose Marketing, Lukeroy Kendrick Rose, Solana DePaola, Cordell James Bess, Dino Nick Mitchell, and several other entities and individuals alleging those parties operated an illegal telemarketing scheme offering consumers fictitious business investment opportunities.
In connection with the FTC case, the United States Postal Inspection Service learned that Rose Marketing was allegedly operating boiler rooms in Phoenix, AZ. Telemarketers allegedly cold-called elderly persons across the country and solicited them to invest in work from home business opportunities. The victims were told they were investing in credit card processing machines and were promised a commission each time a business used the credit card machine.
Victims who invested were allegedly contacted a few days later and given the opportunity to purchase “leads” for businesses in need of credit card processing services. The victims invested anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000 each to purchase these “leads.” Reportedly, the business opportunities were fictitious, no legitimate leads were provided, and the victims lost all of their investment.
Following the Postal Service Inspection investigation, the matter was referred to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for criminal prosecution.
A total of 16 victims were identified in the indictment. The total loss is allegedly more than $298,000.
Rose, DePaola, Bess, and Mitchell are charged with Conspiracy, Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Theft, and Money Laundering. Rose, DePaola, and Bess are also charged with Participating in a Criminal Syndicate, while Mitchell is charged with Assisting a Criminal Syndicate.
Bess was arrested in Texas and will be extradited back to Arizona today.
Assistant Attorney General Andy Kvesic is prosecuting this matter.
All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.
Full copy of the indictment.