A New York man who was an executive at a company in Connecticut has admitted to causing more than $9.5 million in losses to consumers across the country.
Northern Westchester County resident Norman Newman, age 74, of Croton-on-Hudson, pleaded guilty today to supplying lists of consumers’ names and addresses for use in schemes that targeted vulnerable victims, according to court documents filed by the United States Department of Justice.
From 2005 to 2016, Newman worked as a list broker and senior vice president at Macromark Inc., a Fairfield County-based direct mail services firm located in Danbury.
Macromark had admitted to facilitating elder fraud schemes in September 2020. The conspiracy resulted in at least $9.5 million in losses to consumers.
The fraudulent mass mailer clients sent out deceptive letters that appeared to be personalized, when, in actuality, the same letters were sent to thousands of consumers on the mailing lists that Newman provided, the Department of Justice's complaint stated.
"Each letter was intended to mislead the consumer into believing that he or she would receive a large amount of money, a valuable prize, or personalized psychic services upon payment of a fee to the mass mailers, who often operated under false names," the DOJ complaint said. "Fraudsters paid commissions to Newman’s employer, Macromark, for brokering the sale of lists of potential victims.
"Newman then received a percentage of the commissions. Newman knew the content and fraudulent character of the mass-mailings, that they were intended to defraud thousands of consumers, and that some of the consumers were vulnerable to the scams."
While brokering lists, Newman also assisted fraudulent mass mailing clients by engaging the services of data brokerage companies that operated cooperative databases, or “co-ops,” which stored large volumes of demographic and transactional data on American consumers, said the DOJ.
During the conspiracy, Newman and others routinely provided samples of clearly fraudulent letters to employees of data brokerage companies, who then provided data to fraudulent mass mailer clients, according to the DOJ.
“Providing victim lists and other data to help fraudsters target elderly or otherwise vulnerable consumers is a crime,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice can and will hold responsible individuals and companies who knowingly commit or facilitate these schemes.”
Newman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, July 14, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
“While working for a large data firm, the defendant purposefully supplied the names and addresses of vulnerable Americans to known fraudulent clients targeting consumers via mass-mailings," said Inspector in Charge Delany De León-Colón of the United States Postal Inspection Service’s Criminal Investigations Group. "He knew each name he provided would result in another fraudulent mailing being delivered to the consumers’ mailbox.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service holds individuals responsible for their criminal actions when using the U.S. Mail. Today’s plea agreement demonstrates the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s steadfastness in protecting consumers, especially the most vulnerable, from criminals who exploit them.”
The US Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.
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