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Memorial Day scams target veterans, troops, military charities

May 08, 2012|By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times

Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for.

Memorial Day — Memorial Day has become an opportunity for criminals to target veterans as well as active-duty military personnel and their families, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent bulletin. Older veterans are often targeted by scams this time of year, the BBB said. "The unique lifestyle of our service members makes them prime targets for scammers," said Brenda Linnington, director of the BBB's military division. Some scams target service personnel and their families directly, while others go after people attempting to contribute to military charities. "Donors need to watch out for questionable charities that raise funds on behalf of military organizations," added Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. One such scam involves a telephone call in which a criminal poses as a Veterans Administration representative and asks for credit card, bank or other financial information, the BBB said.

Foreclosure 'rescue' — An Austin, Texas, man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after his conviction on charges related to a foreclosure-rescue scam. Frederic Alan Gladle pleaded guilty in January to bankruptcy fraud and identity theft, admitting that he operated a scam from 2007 to 2011 that raised $1.6 million from victims. Prosecutors said Gladle, 53, recruited homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes and told them he could delay foreclosure for $750 per month. He then delayed banks' efforts to foreclose on the homes by submitting false documents in Bankruptcy Court, adding his clients' homes to unrelated bankruptcy cases, prosecutors alleged. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sentenced Gladle last week to 61 months in federal prison.

stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

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