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Pittsburgh couple sentenced for white collar crimes

White collar crimes like mail fraud can lead to years in prison and hundreds of hours of community service if convicted. A couple from Larimer in Pittsburgh found that out the hard way on Monday when a judge found them guilty of mail fraud. They were arrested for running a multi-million dollar magazine subscription scam and sentenced in a federal court yesterday. The 44-year-old man and his 33-year-old girlfriend pleaded guilty in April and August, respectively, both to mail fraud. United States District Judge Cohill presided over the hearing. He sentenced the man to seven years in jail and, three years of probation, and five hundred hours of community service. His partner in crime was treated with a great deal more leniency, receiving only five years of probation and two hundred hours of community service. As a part of their scam, the two would hire young men and women and tell them to tell potential customers that they were former jail inmates or single parents who were attempting to “turn their lives around.” They also told people that the subscriptions benefitted military support organizations, disaster victims, and children’s hospitals throughout the country. They had even set up a legitimate LLC within Pittsburgh to run their illegitimate business, according to the prosecution. It is believed that they unlawfully earned at least $1.9 million from an estimated 30,000 people over the years. The amount could have been more, according to one prosecuting attorney. Cole and Buchanan of Larimer hired young men and women to sell fake subscriptions door-to-door across the country, prosecutors say. They scammed more than $1.9 million from about 30,000 victims who thought they were buying the subscriptions to benefit children’s hospitals, military support groups and other charities, prosecutors said. If you have questions about white collar crimes like mail fraud, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson at (412) 281-3380 for a free consultation. Source: TribLive.com, “Judge sentences Larimer couple to who ran magazine scam” 29 September 2014

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