MANHATTAN (CN) – An Israeli man was arrested Monday on charges of bilking hundreds of people across the United States by threatening to prosecute them for check fraud unless they paid him money the victims did not really owe. Using the business name “Check Processing Bureau,” William Troper sent hundreds of innocent victims a “Notice of Criminal Check Fraud Recommendation,” and demanded payment, federal prosecutors say.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Troper, 46, of Tirat Carmel, sent letters that “typically (referred to) a retailer, such as Sears, True Value, Harry & David, or Sam Goody; listed a ‘balance’ and ‘total amount due,’ for example, $255.00 in one instance; and stated that ‘Criminal check fraud charges are being formally recommended as a result of your issuance of fraudulent check(s)’ and that ‘A copy of this notice shall be forwarded to your local Prosecutor/District Attorney and become part of your permanent record.’ The victims had neither bounced checks nor owed money as represented in the notices; nor is CPB a collection agency for the businesses it purported to represent,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Troper allegedly had the payments sent to a mail drop in New York, and forwarded to him in Israel.
Troper is charged with mail fraud and making threats. If convicted of both charges, he could face up to 30 years in prison.