Advertisement

O.C. BUSINESS PLUS

FBI Investigating Yorba Linda Company

Inquiry: Agency freezes Enterprise Callcenters' assets, leaving employees in its Northern California office unpaid, out of work.

March 23, 2000|From Associated Press

An FBI investigation into a Yorba Linda telemarketing company and the subsequent closure of its Northern California office has left employees there unpaid and out on the streets.

The FBI is examining an alleged credit-card fraud scheme involving Enterprise Callcenters in Yorba Linda. Government officials have frozen the company's assets, resulting in the closure of the office in Huron in Kings County.

The company sells secured credit cards to people with bad credit. Officials allege that the company took money from people for credit cards that were never issued.

Jay Mahan, president and chief executive of Enterprise Callcenters, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mahan's attorney, Ken Kleinberg, told the Fresno Bee this week that the company has had about 10,000 successful transactions with customers and that the FBI investigation is based on only four complaints.

Kleinberg also told the newspaper that the company's Yorba Linda office conducts business differently from the Huron center and is a separate entity.

Since their office closed, about 30 Huron employees have not been paid for their first weeks of work, the company says.

City officials say they did everything necessary to make sure the company was on solid ground as they wooed Enterprise to this small San Joaquin Valley city with an unemployment rate hovering at about 15%.

It took 10 months of negotiating before Huron announced in January that Enterprise would move into a city-renovated building.

"We did a complete financial investigation of Enterprise Callcenters, everything from articles of incorporation, income tax returns, addresses, financial status, real estate holdings, everything we could look into," said Jim Doughty, city director of development.

During that investigation, only one red flag was raised: a concern about the short period Enterprise Callcenters had been in business, which was less than two years.

Doughty said he still believes Enterprise Callcenters can be an upstanding member of Huron's business community.

"We are still interested in having this company operate in town," he said.

It is unclear, however, how long the investigation will last or if the Huron office will rebound from the company's troubles.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|