Owners of Florida Locksmith Service Indicted in Scam to Overcharge for Locksmith Services
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
RICHARD G. CALLAHAN
United States Attorney
February 18, 2011
For Immediate Release
OWNERS OF FLORIDA LOCKSMITH SERVICE INDICTED IN SCAM TO OVERCHARGE FOR LOCKSMITH SERVICES
St. Louis, MO: The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that the owners of a Florida based locksmith service were charged in a superseding indictment on multiple federal charges involving a scam to overcharge customers for locksmith services, as well as employing and
harboring illegal aliens.
According to the superseding indictment, Dependable Locks, Inc., headquartered in Clearwater, FL, managed a national network of locksmith technicians, operating from major population centers across the United States, including St. Louis. It also maintained a full-time staff of telephone
operators and dispatchers, who were on duty 24 hours per day in Clearwater. The dispatchers received phone calls electronically forwarded from hundreds to thousands of telephone numbers listed nationwide for emergency locksmith services, all of which forwarded consumer calls to the
call center in Florida. The dispatchers received the calls and the business dispatched locksmith technicians from the area of the call to respond. Many of the locksmith technicians working for Dependable Locks were aliens who were unlawfully present in the United States and were not authorized to work as locksmith technicians.
The indictment alleges that the locksmith company engaged in deceptive marketing by purchasing directory listings and advertisements in cities across the United States that identified the business to the public as a set of local locksmith companies. The company’s listings used multiple business
names, local phone numbers and fake local addresses that had no affiliation with the company. Phone calls to the listed phone numbers were automatically routed to the company’s call center in Clearwater, Florida. In addition, telephone operators for Dependable Locks were instructed by
managers to mislead customers to believe that they would be charged around $54 for a car lockout, while the responding technician was instructed by managers to charge up to $179 for a lockout.
Technicians used techniques such as accusing the consumer who objected to the overcharge of "theft of services," threatening to call the police, withholding the customer's keys or driver's license to compel payment or following the customer to an ATM machine to ensure payment.
The locksmith technicians allegedly were allowed to split the profits of the fraudulently procured locksmith services with the company and were required to remit the company's share of the proceeds by regularly purchasing and shipping cash, checks and money orders to the Dependable
Locks location in Clearwater, FL.
"After more than a year of following numerous leads with ICE and the Missouri Attorney General's Office, we are pleased to see this case continue to progress," said Postal Inspector J.R. Ball of the St. Louis Field Office. He added, "The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is vigilant in investigating
allegations where the mail or postal products are used to conceal or further a crime."
DAVID PEER, Clearwater, FL; and ADAM OLIVKOVICH, address unknown, were indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, five felony counts of mail fraud, one felony count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for private financial gain and one felony count of engaging in a pattern of hiring unauthorized aliens. MOSHE AHARONI, Clearwater, FL, was indicted on one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one felony count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for private financial gain.
Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000. Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000. Conspiracy to harbor unlawful aliens for private financial gain carries a maximum
penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000. Engaging in a pattern of hiring unauthorized aliens carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine of $3,000 per alien. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines,
which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys John Sauer and John Ware are
handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
i hope u guys get the ones in newjersey now great goin
I was scammed for $2700. They are still operating out of the entire stare of FL so you better know where your locksmith has a office where his license is posted before you hire ANY of them. There are dozens tied together and spent days reporting them but one seems to care. The CROOKED governor of the State of Florida could stop this with the swipe of his pen but won't so he must be ON THE TAKE with these GYPSY THIEVES! Be creative and send them on as many WILD GOOSE chases as you can! You can start with Jeffrey The Best Locksmith in Lake Wales FL. They even give a FAKE address on the Google search for locksmiths. CROOKS!!!
I think that all these news stories should know the facts because all of these accusations are one sided. I guarantee if someone were to ask non disgruntled employees what they were instructed to say I can guarantee it was not 39 to come and 15 to open people really need to get their facts straight
You need to get your facts straight, Lola. these guys were chased out of new york before facing complaints there, and set up their 'boiler room call center' less than a mile from where the shop I worked at was located. We've been fighting these guys sincetheir arrival, and even had one of their bookkeepers give us a stack of paperwork and a disk of e-mails that pretty well detailed their practices. we forwarded that information to the county attorney after creating copies to forward to anyone who wants them. Dependable Locks is just a part of the overall scammer cancer our industry is facing.
File Federal court injunctions,
Lola, I think you should get your story straight.
It is very simple to visit this website for everyone.Interesting share, excellent understanding. Your blog is nice! I’m pleased through the information.
It's good to know such things about those who will charge more for their locksmith service. There must be some harsh punishment for those who charge extra for their services..
Thanks for sharing this informative blog post! about the locksmith who overcharges for there services.
Wow! This is indeed an amazing thing. Thanks for this one.
Your blog article is very interesting and informative. Good Job! because I think there are a lot of locksmith scams are happening.
Yes every defendant tries to be innocent but their guilt will never hides. So first prove the guilt and then decide whether the person is innocent or not.
Those who are indulged in any crime , they must be sent to prison and if they are not guilty then they must not.
Nice blog, thanks for sharing.
This is the great post , you have shared a lot of things in this post regarding the locksmith scams.
Association must take necessary steps to prevent overcharging to client's as there are many lock firms that overcharge their customers for normal services. For those locksmith firms , association must take necessary steps so that they will not overcharge their client's further.
I really liked the story but i thought there's no fault of locksmith there...
This is something happened that no locksmith is ever thought of, but in the end everything is in favor of the victim.
Locksmith fraud companies are quoting low and attractive trip charges to hook you in to booking with them. Always find out what the total charges are before hiring a locksmith.The scammer locksmith receipts had no company name or phone number and the trucks had no markings
Check or ask for a local address. Using a local may make it easier to resolve any disputes.Find a dependable locksmith before you actually need one. A dependable service won't leave you stranded and is fairly priced.
Locksmith fraud companies are quoting low and attractive trip charges to hook you in to booking with them. But you’ll pay much more than that low charge. Only when they arrive do you find out what the real charges are. Hire a licensed locksmith company.
There are some unlicensed locksmiths out there who are out to rip off as many customers as they can. The best way to avoid being endangered by unscrupulous locksmith companies is to always go for a reputable company. Make sure the company has a local address and a phone number. Never trust a locksmith that works out of their vehicles and use only cell phones.
Dealerships are notorious for their high prices. They have a lot of overhead they need to cover, so they pass it along to their customers. A local auto locksmith only works on locks. The prices are considerably less than what a dealer will charge you for the same key. On top of that, in most cases they can have your replacement or repair to you with a quicker turnaround time.Locksmiths typically don’t have to order the replacement, having it to you in a day or two. Many times, good locksmith can originate a key for most cars straight from the vehicle itself.
A locksmith may also charge extra for travel to your home and, where appropriate, for parking.Call a qualified and professional locksmith,they can have fix a price and be sure you won’t be overcharged.
Thanks for sharing this informative blog post! Nice blog, thanks for sharing.
All workmanship and products are guaranteed and we pride ourselves on offering outstanding value for money,
Always check certification or reputation of locksmiths before hiring because many locksmiths use fake identity for the profession and do worst job.
The most excellent method of finding locksmith experts is searching on internet or getting the reference from your friends or other associates.
Maintenance of locks is necessary in order to keep it operating at its most efficient level as well as have a long lifespan.
Always hire near by and certified locksmiths for inspection of locks or another security items because they repair or replace locks and charge genuine fees.
In this modern era the security of our car is also considered as critical matter. Therefore devoid of car locksmith the security of your vehicle is not possible. Never underestimate the utilization of automotive locksmith.
If you lost your residential keys and you are not able to open the door, don't panic always prefer emergency locksmiths because they are always ready to help you in such situations and also provide duplicate key on-spot.
Whenever you detect any type of issue in your locks , without wasting time hire professional locksmiths because they have special equipment and machines to to eliminate issue at genuine charge.
If you want to replace innovative locks, always hire local locksmith because he is professional and best at his work .The skill to install new locks is also great as compared to other plumbers which save money and time too.
Locks issue never happen before asking; therefore you must make sure about the security of office and homes by regular maintenance by hiring experienced locksmith.
Hiring local locksmith is best idea because they have knowledge and equipment to repair or install innovative locks which give total security to your residence when you are not present at house.
Always prefer local locksmith for any repairing, installation and replacement of locks.They give extensive range of services as compared to other security experts.
Hiring locksmiths can provide you with best and safer features for your home. These experts can also provide best solutions to help ensure the safety of your property.
There are many locksmith agencies available in market, Check their reputation and certification after hiring locksmith for any query or work.
If your key gets broken off in your ignition simply call Locksmith as they can help you in getting out of such situation fast.
In case of lost keys, emergency locksmiths proves to be helpful because they reach the location in a very short time and repair the locks of doors and cars.
Be careful that the locksmith,whom you hire for the work is professional.Always check his license and other certificates before hiring him for work.
Try to hire a well reputable and certified locksmiths for full guarantee of their work. Otherwise untrained locksmiths may damage your assets because of their inexperience.
Before hiring a locksmith, first check all the user agreements and be careful because some locksmiths may charge extra fee from their customers. Thus, hire trusted and experienced locksmith for any service regarding locks.
Choosing a certified locksmith ensures the person has the necessary skills and expertise to do the job right and keep you and your property safe and protected.
A professional and well-trained locksmith can efficiently perform the lock repair and if needed then deliver a reliable lock installation that will give you peace of mind.
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Always hire reputable locksmiths because they have licenses and certificates of their profession. Moreover, they never disappoint their clients regarding their job.
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There are many fake locksmiths available in the market, who always cheat with their clients and charge high fees. Always check their license or ID cards before hiring them.
Thanks for sharing this informative blog post! Nice blog,They give extensive range of services as compared to other security experts thanks for sharing.
If you plan to hire the service of a professional locksmith, you need to check certain points before you can be sure about the authenticity of the person.
Our Scannable Driver’s License can be used for online verification, clubbing, in the grocery stores to buy alcohol and tobacco, renting a car and driving in both age and underage individuals, opening a bank account, gambling, acquiring a job to put on extra hours above your age, etc.
Many people have no clue that when they call a locksmith, they could be putting themselves in real danger. However, locksmith fraud is a growing concern in today's market.
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