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Consumer Alert: NBA player convicted in scam

It's a stunning fall for a one- time sports hero. While he may have played on some of basketball's biggest stages, these days he is behind bars.

"Hi, my name is Jay Vincent from Foreclosure Bank Inspecting Company we are a trademark company with the federal government," is the video pitch Vince made to try and recruit employees for his business.

The problem?

"A former NBA player and hometown hero used the notoriety and reputation that he had to illicit trust from individuals who applied for positions with his company," said Erin Leipold a U.S. Postal Inspector.

Vincent sent ads all over the country looking for people to work for his foreclosure inspection business.

"When they responded they were told they needed to obtain a background check," said Leipold. "They could either obtain the check through his company for $89 or they could obtain it on their own, which was more difficult."

But the background checks were never done. No inspectors were ever hired and the business had no contracts. Vincent was just taking the fee money.

"We estimated 18-thousand victims in this investigation and we calculated the loss at 1.4 million dollars that we could document however we think that the loss was closer to two million dollars," said Leipold.

Sheilita Griffin says she worked for Vincent answering phones. She heard many complaints from applicants, but didn't realize it was a scheme.

"I don't believe in scamming people, in our economy and the way that our economy is going right now - people are working very hard for the money they have - so to scam people out of $89 - I don't really think that is fair," said Griffin.

Postal inspectors say job seekers need to be weary of online ads.

"Jobs that promise high earnings with minimal effort are most likely NOT a legitimate offer," said Leipold.

Vincent was sentenced to five- years in prison, and ordered to pay more than 100-thousand dollars to the IRS for his part in the fraud case.


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