Two Men Sought in $1 Million Scam
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Two men accused of promising free new motorcycles to people participating in a bogus market study have been indicted for allegedly bilking more than 4,000 people out of $1 million, authorities said.
Samuel Filippo, 42, and Robert James Matthews, 40, were charged in a federal grand jury indictment and face 16 counts of mail fraud. Filippo also is charged with one count of using fictitious names.
Both are fugitives. Offices for their National Marketing in Venice have been closed; no forwarding address was left.
The pair, according to the indictment returned Thursday, failed to deliver anything more than $140 mopeds, despite promising participants they would receive a revolutionary new motorcycles for testing.
Victims were told they had to pay $360 to $390 in promotional and shipping costs for the bikes, but most never received anything, said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Katz. About 1,000 people received a moped valued at $140.
If convicted, the pair would face up to 80 years in prison and $4 million in fines and restitution.