JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- A multi-million dollar money laundering scheme in Jacksonville Beach has been broken up.
Action News has learned postal investigators arrested three people they say were stealing money from businesses, claiming they'd do advertising. The criminal complaint is 22 pages long. There are more than 100,000 victims.
Investigators say it happened inside a building at Jax Beach and used a common company name, yellow pages. According to the criminal complaint, three people set out to defraud businesses. Investigators believe the suspects stole almost 500 thousand dollars.
The company goes by several names like Yellow Pages United, which has a website. We found it, but it wasn't working. There's also an office in the metropolitan building at Jax Beach. That's called United Directories.
According to the complaint we obtained, three people were sending out paperwork asking businesses to renew their advertising with the company. Some victims told investigators they thought it was legit, since they saw the yellow pages walking fingers symbol. Businesses were promised their products would go on the website, but investigators say they never did. Investigators also believe the suspects were doing business out of a home in Neptune Beach. A woman there didn't want to answer our questions.
The complaint also names an apartment in a Neptune Beach complex and a home in Ponte Vedra as place where they were doing business. We couldn't find anyone at either place.
Investigators believe this has been going on since 2004. The charges for the three people include, money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to the criminal complaint, one of the suspect's brothers was involved with this type of scheme and even has charges pending against him. Victims from that case started coming forward saying that they were still getting the solicitations. That's when investigators took an even closer look into the family web and discovered the connection.