The government of the U.S. focused on one elite group of con artists from around the world and the different companies that made them millions and millions of dollars.
Late this week a crackdown of unseen proportions took place on mail fraud around the world when the Department of Justice and other federal agencies began their attempt of shutting down a network of international mail fraudsters who have stolen millions and millions of dollars in the U.S. from millions of people.
One main target is PacNet Services a little-known payment processor based in Canada. The U.S. Department of the Treasury on a move never done before deemed the payments processor a significant criminal organization that was transnational.
The label put PacNet on a short list with some of the most notorious drug cartels, murderers and mobsters.
In a separate action, the U.S. government is in the process of seizing funds of PacNet held inside a bank in the U.S., alleging that the account was used by PacNet to facilitate money laundering for the illegal schemes.
PacNet is a payment processor for many schemes involving mail fraud, said a Postal Inspector in a court document. On Friday, PacNet said it denied all the allegations in its Facebook page, adding that it decided to stop the payments processing for companies related to direct mail.
Officials said that many scammers who use the PacNet software to process specific payments from victims are coming under fire as well.
The government said it found that just one company had been taking in over $50 million per year from its victims, and it used PacNet to process the payments.
Another man, who has sent out bogus letters for sweepstakes around the world, was arrested at JFK Airport in New York when he attempted to board a plane head to Turkey.
Documents show he has been release since on bond of $1.2 million. At the same time, a serial fraudster from Las Vegas who has had problems with authorities in the past was indicted on two dozen counts of mail fraud.
Many schemes are very similar. They attempt to prey on the sick, elderly and desperate, sending out letters tricking people into believing they had won a lottery or found a psychic adviser who could turn their fortunes around for the good.
Each year, the scams stole millions of dollars out of the pockets of victims around the world.
The action taken this week was one of the largest yet that attempts to cut the fraud off by focusing on companies that are behind the scenes.