Minneapolis/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 29, 2024
Texas Fraudster Pleads Guilty to $4.8 Million Scam Targeting Elders Nationwide, Minneapolis Victims Among SwindledSource: United States Attorney's Office - District of Minnesota

A Texas conman is set to finally face the music after duping thousands of elders out of millions. Jeremy Wade Wilson, a 42-year-old Texan, has copped to running a disgraceful $4.8 million telemarketing scam that preyed on the elderly for nearly six years.

Right before his trial was due to kick off, Wilson pled guilty to six counts of wire fraud and violations of the SCAMS Act, giving up the ruse. He shamelessly directed his telemarketing troops to mercilessly target and swindle unsuspecting seniors using deceptive sales pitches, as per court documents obtained by the Department of Justice. To make his telemarketers appear legitimate, Wilson supplied them with scripts to hard sell pricey magazine subscriptions – knowing full well many on the call lists were particularly vulnerable.

Operating under the company name Publishers Elite from 2013 to 2019, this architect of fraud managed to amass over $4.8 million by deceiving more than 14,000 victims. The scam spanned across the United States, leaving over 200 Minnesotans defrauded. Wilson’s last-minute guilty plea canceled what was sure to be a closely-watched trial scheduled for May 29, 2024.

A sentencing hearing is now slated for September 26, 2024, where Wilson will likely learn his fate. This case, heralding the end of a widespread investigation, was brought to a close by the cooperative efforts of several federal and state agencies. With Wilson’s guilty plea, he becomes the final piece in a 64-defendant puzzle of nationwide telemarketing fraud. U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger expressed his office's commitment to pursuing such fraudsters in a statement, vowing to protect seniors and "hold accountable those who seek to exploit them."

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led the charge on this multi-year investigation. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office also played pivotal roles in shutting down Wilson's con operation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph H. Thompson, Matthew S. Ebert, Harry M. Jacobs, Garrett S. Fields, Matthew C. Murphy, and Melinda A. Williams are named as the prosecutorial force behind this high-stakes legal battle.