DES MOINES (Legal Newsline) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has announced a Polk County judge has ordered Robert C. Schneider of Schneider Creative to pay $100,000 for his role in allegedly designing mail solicitations that misled and cheated elderly consumers.
“The mailings Schneider designed were slick and predatory, intended to trick vulnerable people into sending money,” Miller said. “Schneider was evidently the go-to person for a range of scammers – operators who were ready and willing to defraud the elderly, but who didn’t necessarily have the skills to craft mailings that generated enough victims to be profitable.”
Miller’s Consumer Protection Division learned of the alleged scheme when it found out about a 91-year-old Iowa widow who was the target of a host of purportedly fraudulent mail solicitations. These mailings would notify the recipient of a supposed sweepstakes prize they would receive after paying a $25 processing fee. The sweepstakes prize, however, was fake.
Miller said $50,000 of the default judgment will go toward reimbursing victims, $40,000 will go toward civil penalties and $10,000 to attorney costs.
“We know that scammers buy and sell lists of susceptible people,” Miller said. “This allows them to zero in on a single Iowan who has shown vulnerability, and they can deplete the victim’s resources pretty quickly.”