Several Employees of United Directories, a company located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, were indicted in federal court for allegedly defrauding businesses out of more than $400 million by allegedly sending fraudulent bills for Yellow Pages advertisements. Federal law enforcement officials said United Directories and its employees sent the false Yellow Pages advertisement bills of several hundred dollars each to more than 100,000 companies across the country over a four year period.
Two of the charges include mail fraud and money laundering. The federal government will charge someone with mail fraud any time a person is alleged to have used the mail to commit or facilitate fraud. Using the mail as part of a scheme to defraud confers jurisdiction upon the federal government in a criminal case. Money laundering involves taking money that is known to come from illegal activity or an illegal source and mixing it with legitimate money in an attempt to conceal the source of the money, or clean it. When this kind of money is involved in an alleged fraudulent scheme, the potential penalties can be quite severe.