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Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Nationwide Telemarketing Fraud Scheme Targeting Elders

MINNEAPOLIS – A Texas man has pleaded guilty on the eve of trial to his role in a $4.8 million nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme that targeted elderly and vulnerable victims, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, Jeremy Wade Wilson, 42, of Fort Worth, Texas, owned and operated Publishers Elite, a Texas-based company involved in fraudulent magazine sales. From 2013 through 2019, Wilson ran a telemarketing call center in Arlington, Texas, where Wilson provided his telemarketers with scripts containing fraudulent sales pitches for use in defrauding victim-consumers out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Wilson knew that many of the consumers on these lists were elderly or otherwise susceptible to fraudulent and deceptive sales tactics. Nevertheless, Wilson directed his telemarketers to call the people on these lists and trick them, through a series of lies and misrepresentations, into signing up for expensive magazine subscription packages.

During the course of the scheme, Wilson and his company defrauded more than 14,000 victims across the United States, including more than 200 victims in Minnesota. Between 2013 and 2019, Wilson's company received more than $4.8 million from victims of his scheme.

Wilson, who was scheduled for trial on May 29, 2024, pleaded guilty earlier today before Judge John R. Tunheim to six counts of wire fraud and SCAMS Act. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 26, 2024.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additional assistance was provided by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph H. Thompson, Harry M. Jacobs, Garrett S. Fields, Matthew C. Murphy, and Melinda A. Williams are prosecuting the case.

 

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