Small business scam: Con artist targets business owners in funding scheme

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ATLANTA — He stole millions of dollars by preying on the hopes and dreams of people just trying to make a go of their small business.

"Small business owners would submit a business plan as well as goals. Mr. Tobin promised he had firsthand knowledge on loans," explained U.S. Postal Inspector Martin Glover.

Anthony Tobin owned a company that claimed to help small business owners expand with new funding.

Tobin's company charged for its services.

"The victims were told they had to pay a due diligence fee or a maintenance fee — application fee to help obtain the loan. In actuality, the victim never received any money," Glover said.

The fees were between $2,000 to $100,000 depending on the size of the business.

"They were told, after sending the money, that there was a problem proceeding with the money and other unforeseen difficulties and they were asked to send more due diligence money," said Glover.

Unfortunately, many of the victims sent more money. In the end, 35 victims lost $5 million.

"Many times, the people who are victimized are the people who are falling on hardship as well as elderly individuals who are looking for any way to get by and it seems like these people are most vulnerable to these advanced fee schemes," Glover said.

If you find yourself facing a similar offer, you can protect yourself.

"If you have someone who is pressuring you to send them money to obtain the loan, you need to clarify where you are sending the money," Glover advised.

Anthony Tobin was sentenced to seven years in prison for mail fraud and was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.

1 Comment

  • becky weaver

    The reason these con-artists do this is because our legal system is too lenient.
    1) They rarely have to pay back 100% of what they stole.
    2) They’ll get out of the country club prison in half the time sentenced, (in 4 yrs he can get out on “good behavior.”)
    So he basicly goes and digs up the $3,000,000 (less the 1-2 mil he spent) wherever he stashed it and figures 5 yrs of his life actually netted him $1M per yr. So he goes to another location where nobody knows him and does the only thing he knows how to do well: Lie, cheat, and steal from people. Heaven forbid they might actually rehabilitate him in prison and teach him how to do something LEGAL. No, that would only happen in another world.

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