By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 57-year-old Philadelphia man pleaded guilty today to a series of Internet scams that targeted people across the United States and has links to unidentified co-conspirators overseas.
The defendant, Dave Brister, has admitted cheating a couple of dozen victims out of a total of about $100,000 even as countless others were being targeted.
Federal prosecutor Mark Dubnoff says the defendant was running a couple of Internet schemes — fake job offers, or sales deals, some based on Craigslist postings.
Virtually all the scams involved the victims getting checks or money orders from a third party, being told to perform a task (for example, purchase merchandise as part of a “store survey”), and then send the rest of the money from the check or money order to Brister.
But as it turned out, Dubnoff says, the checks and money orders were counterfeit.
“People who were victimized by these Internet schemes would send their money to him, he would take a little bit of a cut, and then send the rest of the proceeds to his co-conspirators in Nigeria, Benin, other countries in Africa and sometimes other countries in Europe,” Dubnoff tells KYW Newsradio, who says the victims didn’t know of the overseas link.