LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, announced that defendant Walter Henderson was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz in Miami, Florida. Henderson was sentenced to a term of 60 months’ imprisonment and a term of 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $1,180,386.48 in restitution.
On April 11, 2007, defendant Henderson entered a guilty plea in Miami District Court to count one of the Information pending against him, charging conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Henderson was a Project Manager and salesman for American Merchant Technologies, Inc. (“AMT”), a Miami based company that purportedly sold automated teller machines, public access internet terminals, and point of sale terminal business opportunities to consumers across the United States.
AMT was in business from April 2004 until December 2004. According to the Information, AMT salespeople made materially false statements to potential purchasers, including that AMT was a profitable business opportunity, and that a locating company would secure high-traffic locations for AMT distributors to place their terminals.
According to the Information, AMT salespeople provided potential purchasers with the names of individuals who were purportedly successful AMT business opportunity owners, when in fact, such references were not what they were represented to be, but instead were merely shills, that is, individuals paid by AMT to fraudulently induce potential purchasers to buy an AMT business opportunity. During the time period AMT was in business, these phony references spoke to numerous potential purchasers of an AMT business opportunity. The AMT conspiracy victimized over 50 people and caused more than $1,000,000 in victim losses.
The AMT prosecution is part of an ongoing crackdown on business opportunity fraud in South Florida that is being carried out by the United States Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office in Miami, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the United States Postal Inspection Service. This case was prosecuted by Jeffrey Steger, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Litigation.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.