TYLER, Texas — A Wartrace, TN man pleaded guilty to federal offenses in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced today.
John Arthur Fuss, 71, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering today before US Magistrate Judge John D. Love.
According to information presented to the court, Fuss was involved in a scheme devised and managed by a co-defendant. The scheme involved call center solicitations of all kinds, including home loan modifications, personal loans, Social Security benefit repayments and IRS payment requests. Victims were instructed to make payments through various money services businesses or by mailing payments to specified addresses. Fuss was recruited to collect payments from money-services businesses or receive them in the mail and then deposit them into accounts as instructed by one of the co-defendants. He also set up at least one business so the co-accused could open a bank account to use in the scheme. The overall scheme involved approximately $3.2 million in victim payments and nearly 2,000 victims. Fuss admitted to being responsible for depositing approximately $1,173,233 in victim proceeds.
Fuss faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentence will be determined by the court based on advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the US Probation Board.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been the victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Fraud Hotline for Seniors: 1-833 -FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This US Department of Justice hotline, operated by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying appropriate next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to help them report, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud, and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering the losses. The hotline is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. English, Spanish and other languages are available.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, HUD-OIG, and Treasury IG – Tax Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan R. Jackson and Frank Coan.