Several “psychic” mail networks, one being a very popular one from Long Island, joined forces to scam millions of dollars out of over 200,000 customers by selling them fake talismans and “visions” that were supposedly unique for each customer, this according to the U.S. Justice Department. The U.S. Justice Department is hoping to be granted court orders so that they can put a stop to this scam that has been running for a long time now.
According to the complaints filed in Central Islip U.S. District Court on the 19th of November of this year, these so-called “unique” talismans and visions were in reality nothing more than mass-produced knick-knacks and bulk mail from the CLGE Network and I.D Marketing Solutions based in Manhattan. Another one was run by a company in Hong Kong called Destiny Research Center, and the last one is a Canada based company called Infogest Direct Marketing.
These three companies were able to get lists of people who believe in astrology and took advantage of gullible senior citizens and those who were not financially savvy. These two groups ended up paying anywhere from $20 to $50 for cheap trinkets that were bought in Asia for about $1.20 under the belief that they were products used by historic figures.
These scams are believed to have begun around 2002 as letters psychics supposedly wrote that had “personal predictions” as well as lottery numbers for the person they were mailed out to. They would even use scare tactics and say that the person would have bad things happen to them and their energy fields would be torn should they not listen. They would say that good fortune is coming to them and if they do not buy these talismans or psychic readings those fortunes and windfalls would be lost, this all according to the complaints filed. One set of bulk letters even went so far as to say “Goodbye peace, goodbye 7 million dollars… Hello sadness and never-ending anxiety.”
The companies who processed the payments for the scammers, a company called Metro Data Mangement (aka Data Marketing Group) and chief executive Keitha Rocco would receive the letters back from the unsuspecting consumers, which had payments as well as letters to psychics asking about money and health problems. When asked for a comment, Rocco refused to do give one.
Federal authorities say that Rocco’s company processed over 23,000 consumer responses to CLGE, in the form of letters and mail, in March and April alone.
According to an investigation by the United States Postal Service and court filings, Destiny Research Center has mailed out about 56 million letters to naïve consumers and Rocco’s company processed about $500,000 in payments every two weeks for them.
Attempts to contact the attorneys for all companies involved in these scams have been unsuccessful.
The Long Island U.S. attorney’s office has now filed temporary restraining orders against these fraudulent businesses, as well as seeking court orders to authorize the USPS to be able to step in.