U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced Wednesday a Buffalo man admitted to conspiring with others to defraud victims through a debt collection scheme.
Thirty-five-year-old Shawn Sylvia told victims he was with several organizations, including the Interstate Recovery Solutions, American Mutual Holdings, Apex Resolution Group, Check Systems LLC, Miler and Flemming and Associates, Aries Resolution Group, Pasquale and associates LLC and Interstate Check Registry.
Sylvia and his associates utilized “strong-arm tactics” to convince victims to make a payment toward their outstanding debts. They utilized threats of lawsuits, arrest and jail to urge victims to transfer money via Western Union and MoneyGram to bank accounts they controlled.
They defendant and his associates also created merchant accounts, so victims could make payments with their credit cards. Fraudulent charges and chargebacks caused the payment processing companies to suffer losses.
Sylvia and his associates defrauded victims of $342,303 from May 2013 through August 2017.
The conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.