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After Being Scammed, We Received our Pot of Gold!
- How I Was Scammed on the Internet
Back in 2005 my grandsons and I found ourselves on an internet money-making website that eventually turned out to be a scam. It is my intent here to go through the process and inform all of the outcome.
Results of the Claim I Filed
If you read my former Hub about my problems with the internet, you know that I registered on a website in the summer of 2005 and deposited money into an account for this money-making site. You also know that after I was involved about a year the website folded and took the money of all the participants. To avoid any legal problems, I called this site "My Loss" and the site that I transferred the money to "My Loss Pay." Two of my grandsons were also registered in this website. About two years after the closing of the website, I decided I was angry enough about it to try to file a claim for fraud, and I did so. Then approximately two years after I filed that claim, I received a call from the FBI. It was an assistant district attorney for the Northern District of New York. She explained that they were investigating the website and my claim was one of the most complete in details. The reason the FBI was involved in this case was that funds were transferred from my bank to the defendant's bank and that made it wire fraud, which is a federal offense. To read everything that happened go to my first Hub as it is explained in detail there.
Now comes what happened next as we have our fingers crossed that there is going to be a happy ending and we think we are about to see "our pot at the end of the rainbow!"
After I received the call from the FBI, there were several communications between them and me. In September of 2010 Charges were filed! Following is the list of events as they unfolded over the next two years:
- Charges filed on Sept. 30, 2010
- Arraignment hearing on Oct. 05, 2010
- Defendant released on Oct. 12, 2010
- Trial date on Dec. 06, 2010
- Trial date rescheduled on Dec. 06, 2010
- Trial date on March 2, 2011
- Trial date rescheduled on March 2, 2011
- Change of plea hearing on May 11, 2011
- Change of plea hearing rescheduled on May 11, 2011
- Change of plea hearing on May 12, 2011
- Change of plea hearing rescheduled on May 12, 2011
- Change of plea hearing on May 13, 2011
- Change of plea hearing rescheduled on May 13, 2011
- Trial date on July 5, 2011
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Sept. 12, 2011
- Sentencing hearing on Oct. 11, 2011
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Oct. 11, 2011
- Sentencing hearing on Dec. 05, 2011
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Dec. 05, 2011
- Sentencing hearing on Feb. 28, 2012
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Feb. 28, 2012
- Sentencing hearing on Mar.15, 2012
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Mar. 15, 2012
- Sentencing hearing on Mar. 20, 2012
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on Mar. 20, 2012
- Sentencing hearing on May 14, 2012
- Sentencing hearing rescheduled on May 14, 2012
- Sentencing hearing on May 11, 2012
(Actually the sentencing hearing rescheduled on May 14 was moved up three days to May 11.)
As you can discover from the above list, every time we thought something was going to actually happen, it was rescheduled. Naturally, we were beginning to think nothing was ever going to be resolved.
Each of the claimants was given a Witness Notification Number so we could keep track of events over the internet as they unfolded in court. We also had a phone number and email address to enable us contact the Victim Witness Coordinator. I must admit our Coordinator was very helpful and willing to answer all questions. We also were encouraged to fill out a Witness Impact Statement, which I did do.
About three weeks after the Sentencing Hearing on May 11, 2012, I called the Coordinator but did not receive an answer. Finally I did receive an email with her apologies and a copy of the Judgment attached. In this Judgment it stated that the defendant was sentenced to time served (363 days) and restitution of over $575,000. The Judgement had a list of Payee Restitution amounts, with the payees' names blocked out, of course. Further on in the Judgment, it stated that the defendant was to pay $100 by July 1, 2012 to all payees listed, and the balance in $200/month or 15% of her adjusted gross income, whichever is greater. The defendant was also sentenced to three years of federally supervised release.
As clearly as I can determine from the Judgement restitution figures, I will receive all monies I deposited in the fund, minus any payout that I received. Of course, until I actually have money in hand I won't believe it. And it won't all come at once. My greatest relief is that my grandsons will be receiving their money back, too.
My story shows that you always need to be aware of what you are doing on the internet, and that you also need to stick up for yourself and follow through until you get a resolution, hopefully in your favor. Keep your fingers crossed for me and my grandsons that we actually receive our restitution in the next two years or so.
After five long years, from the time of filing a fraud claim until receiving a partial payment, I have this week (November 6, 2012) received 88% of the restitution awarded to me in the lawsuit concerning my internet losses. Now I have to wait and see if I will receive the other 12%.
It has been a great lesson to me, both in being extremely careful what you do on the internet and also in filing a claim when you feel you have been victim of a fraud. Persistence has paid off for me and my grandsons.