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2 indicted in $100K unclaimed-property fraud scheme

Two men, one of whom is from metro Atlanta, allegedly used fraud and identity theft to steal more than $100,000 in a national unclaimed-property scheme, according to federal authorities.

Allen J. Pendergrass, 60, of Fayetteville, and Terrell McQueen, 37, of Fort Worth, Texas, told clients they would recover unclaimed money and assets held by local and state governments for a fee, U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a news release. The men were indicted June 27.

During the process, the men forged documents that said people were owed thousands of dollars, according to the release. The men instead put the money into their own accounts and never distributed the money.

“These defendants are charged with forging power of attorney forms to steal over $100,000 owed to local businesses and residents,” Horn said.

From about 2004 until 2014, Pendergrass owned and ran College Park-based Guishard, Wilburn & Shorts, LLC, which allegedly provided asset-recovery services, Horn said.

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During that time, Pendergrass also owned or operated other companies in Georgia that claimed to provide the same services, including Asset Financial Recovery, Inc., Recovery Capital, Attorney Recovery System, National Asset Recovery Agency, Inc., Beacon Asset Recovery Agency, LLC, National Unclaimed Funds, Inc. and Service Pros, Inc., according to federal officials.

“In 2013, Pendergrass and McQueen mailed forged power of attorney forms to the City of Atlanta and fraudulently claimed over $100,000 owed to local businesses and residents,” Horn said.

“Pendergrass, McQueen, and companies they controlled perpetuated this fraud scheme across the country.”

The IRS and the United States Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case.

 

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