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Jan 07

Could Rachel at Cardholder Services game be over?

It was one year ago today that I first blogged about “Rachel at Cardholder Services.” Little did I know that single post would morph into seven posts including today’s.

As a professional in the telecommunications world, I had become acutely aware of Rachel based on the number of complaints I was getting from my clients. I also was aware of Rachel for the more than seven years I lived and worked in Houston, by having four phones on my desk, and getting calls from Rachel on every one of them (despite only one number being published) as well as my home and cell phones.

Open Casket with Hand holding PhoneThose events led me to start investigating Rachel, between talking to live agents (of course giving them bad information when I couldn’t avoid skirting around their questions) to many hours of Internet research. What resulted from that research is what has already been put on this site.

When the four-part series ran in May/June, I named nine companies that were clearly involved with Rachel. At the time, only one, Castle Rock Capital Management, was charged with violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

That changed in November 2012. In late October, the Federal Trade Commission (Press Release), Department of Justice, and the Attorney Generals in Arizona, Arkansas and Florida filed 15 cases against various companies (FTC summary of all cases) as part of a wide-spread crackdown. The five cases being led by the FTC and DOJ all received Temporary Restraining orders and had the businesses assets frozen, pending litigation.

One of the targets of this sweep, Ambrosia Web Design of Mesa Arizona, was one of the companies mentioned in my series, and as I suspected, two other companies in my list were alias companies of Ambrosia. In fact, each of the defendants in these cases carried a number of “doing business as” aliases – obviously an effort to further hide their “business” from law enforcement agencies.

What happens next?

The five companies that the FTC targeted directly:

  • A+ Financial Center, LLC, d/b/a Accelerated Financial Centers, LLC; Accelerated Accounting Services, LLC. (complaint / restraining order)
  • Ambrosia Web Design, LLC, d/b/a AWD; Concord Financial Advisors, LLC; CAM Services Direct, LLC; AFB, LLC; Western GPS, LLC (complaint / restraining order)
  • The Green Savers, LLC, d/b/a Elite Services; Advanced Data Solutions (complaint / restraining order)
  • ELH Consulting, LLC, d/b/a Proactive Planning Solutions; Purchase Power Solutions, LLC; Allied Corporate Connection, LLC; Complete Financial Strategies, LLC; 3Point14 Consulting, LLC; Elite Planning Group; Key Tech Software Solutions, LLC; Key One Solutions (complaint / restraining order)
  • WV Universal Management, LLC, d/b/a Treasure Your Success; Global Financial Assist, LLC; Leading Production, LLC (complaint / restraining order)

Have all been served with temporary restraining orders, and assets frozen. This means they are effectively out of business until they appear in court.

The state of Arizona is pursuing a separate case against ELH Consulting, et al, for violations of state law.

Arkansas’ Attorney General really stepped up to the plate, filing five Federal cases there:

  • Associated Accounting Specialists, Inc
  • Business First Solutions, Inc; WV Universal Management, LLC.
  • Financial Ladder, Inc.
  • Financial Management Partners, Inc.
  • Kenneth Sallies

Florida filed four cases, including many arrests for “unlicensed telemarketing”:

  • Card Services, a/k/a M&M Financial
  • Omega Debt, Inc.
  • JMK Concepts, LLC
  • The Green Savers, LLC

All of these cases will have their day in court in the coming months. I will continue to check in. I also suspect that more cases could be coming, as the state cases reach Federal courts.

What about Castle Rock Capital Management?

According to a case search, the FTC and Castle Rock Capital Management entered into a “consent decree” on November 26, 2012, effectively ending their case. Details of the settlement were not available.

Gavel

I suspect that the case ended with Castle Rock Capital Management, and Roy M. Cox being banned from operating a telemarketing operation. Only time will tell if Cox and other parties in the case don’t try this again.

Is this really the end of “Rachel at Cardholder Services”?

While obviously the number of restraining orders arrests and other court actions has seriously put a dent in the volume of these calls, only time will tell if Rachel is dead or not. Based on the number of people still reading the Rachel series here at On The Spot Blog, I doubt she is gone.

I suspect there will be an 8th post about “Rachel” at some point in the future…

 

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.

A native of Ottawa, Kansas (approximately 60 miles South-West of Kansas City), he was born in the early 70's and lived most of his early life without traveling far from home.

He has since lived in Lenexa, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City), Houston, Texas, and now resides in Frisco, Texas (north of Dallas, Texas). He has had the experience of traveling to Tokyo, Japan and Tel Aviv, Israel, as well as numerous places around the USA.

A self-professed computer geek, when Michael's not working in his telecommunications job, he enjoys Model Railroading and Paintball.

Michael Jones is the founder of On The Spot Communications and On The Spot Blog.
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  • “Consent Decree”?

    Roy Cox Jr. (Castle Rock Capital Management) shows up here, running GenuTec Business Solutions, Inc with non-other than “board member” Hans Smit (Johan Hendrik Smit Duyzentkunst) previous CEO of Asia Pacific Telecom, Inc also sued by the FTC.

    http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=23957705

    http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1023060/index.shtm

    One question- Did Hans sell his “Asia Pacific Telecom company” to F Antone Accuardi, that now uses the names Pacific Telecom Communications Group, and Telephone Management Corporation?

    http://telemarketerspam.wordpress.com/

    • Filed 02/04/2013. Another company begins before the ink is dry.

      “Through any person, trust, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, subsidiary, division, or other device; or any of them”.

      Castle Rock Capital Management, Inc, Castle Rock Capital Management, S.A., Capital Solutions Group, S.A., Transfers Argentina, S.A., Public Service, Marketing Strategy Group, and Castle Rock Capital Management, Inc.; Castle Rock Capital Management, S.A., a foreign corporation; Capital Solutions Group, S.A., a foreign corporation; Transfers Argentina, S.A., a foreign corporation; Public Service, a foreign corporation; and Marketing Strategy Group

      http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923193/index.shtm

      Case 8:11-cv-01910-DOC-JPR Document 22 Filed 02/04/13 Page 4 of 13

      “PERMANENT BAN ON TELEMARKETING.
      IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Individual Defendant, whether acting directly
      or through any person, trust, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, subsidiary, division, or other device; or any of them, is hereby PERMANANTLY RESTRAINED and ENJOINED from TELEMARKETING, or assisting to be engaged in telemarketing.”

      • Clearly shutting the companies down isn’t hurting them enough to make it stop, they need to start putting them in jail.

      • Clearly shutting the companies down isn’t hurting them enough to make it stop, they need to start putting them in jail.

        • Here is more info on the connections between the swindlers from;

          http://telemarketerspam.wordpress.com/

          “Roy Cox and his shell companies, which are the subject of the latest FTC press release, seem to have entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Pacific Telecom Communications Group:

          “Roy Cox and his shell companies, which are the subject of the latest FTC press release, seem to have entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Pacific Telecom Communications Group:

          http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923193/index.shtm

          The relationship between Cox and Fred Accuardi’s Pacific Telecom is noted by the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office in this affidavit:

          http://www.psc.nd.gov/database/documents/12-0750/004-010.pdf

          Roy Cox used Pacific Telecom phone numbers and caller ID platform in his “card services” scheme. Unfortunately, the FTC did not take any action against Pacific Telecom. According to a regulator I spoke with, Accuardi told the FTC that Pacific Telecom would end it’s revenue sharing business, but that it had no assets that could be collected in a lawsuit. This is a terrible reason for the FTC not to take action against Pacific Telecom, Fred Accuardi, F Antone Accuardi, and Steve Hamilton.

          The millions in illicit money earned by Roy Cox and the Accuardi family through this scheme appear to be in international bank accounts.

          It’s outrageous that the FTC settled with Roy Cox for absolutely nothing. The $1.1 suspended settlement means that Cox will pay nothing to the FTC, yet he will be free to spend his illicit money outside of this country.”

        • Here is more info on the connections between the swindlers from;

          http://telemarketerspam.wordpress.com/

          “Roy Cox and his shell companies, which are the subject of the latest FTC press release, seem to have entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Pacific Telecom Communications Group:

          “Roy Cox and his shell companies, which are the subject of the latest FTC press release, seem to have entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Pacific Telecom Communications Group:

          http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0923193/index.shtm

          The relationship between Cox and Fred Accuardi’s Pacific Telecom is noted by the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office in this affidavit:

          http://www.psc.nd.gov/database/documents/12-0750/004-010.pdf

          Roy Cox used Pacific Telecom phone numbers and caller ID platform in his “card services” scheme. Unfortunately, the FTC did not take any action against Pacific Telecom. According to a regulator I spoke with, Accuardi told the FTC that Pacific Telecom would end it’s revenue sharing business, but that it had no assets that could be collected in a lawsuit. This is a terrible reason for the FTC not to take action against Pacific Telecom, Fred Accuardi, F Antone Accuardi, and Steve Hamilton.

          The millions in illicit money earned by Roy Cox and the Accuardi family through this scheme appear to be in international bank accounts.

          It’s outrageous that the FTC settled with Roy Cox for absolutely nothing. The $1.1 suspended settlement means that Cox will pay nothing to the FTC, yet he will be free to spend his illicit money outside of this country.”

  • It hasn’t stopped or even slowed. I get calls every day.

    I’ve had about 30 to 40 of these calls on my cell from 14 different phone numbers, each of which I put into my contact list under a contact named Ass Hole that has a silent ring and no vibrate so I don’t know when they try again. They’ve usually tried two or three times on each number, so I get some minor satisfaction from later, when I look, seeing the “Missed call from Ass Hole.” Today (1-21-13) they had a different tactic. The call came from “Unknown” with no phone number shown so I couldn’t put in in my contact list under Ass Hole. The call content was the same as always except from Tiffany this time.

    As a museum director I get calls from all over the country, including those from “Unknown” which are usually valid calls, so not answering calls from someone I don’t know is not an option.

    Any suggestions?

  • Ray in VT

    How do they hire their workers? Are they in the US?

  • CatwomanMN

    Card services has been spoofing caller ID to show MY NAME and MY NUMBER. Why is this software not being blocked?? You can’t tell me there is not a software the phone companies can get to stop these scams. And so what (about the article above) it doesn’t say what happened, so obviously nothing can stop these people. They never go to jail, never get completely shut down and they laugh all the way to the bank. Sounds like a great gig. Maybe the FTC should offer money to anyone working for these companies to shut them down faster.

    • believesingod

      How can they use our own names and phone numbers, why is this being allowed. I keep getting phone calls with my own name and number and of course, It’s Rachel from CardHolder Services. I just hang up. I know my husband has hit a number to get alive person and chewed them out and told them to never call again. You think that work, no they still call. I guess we just need to let everyone know to just don’t answer it or pick up and hang up.

      • “Spoofing” your own number is a tactic that is being used more and more by “Rachel”. In fact, it is frowned upon, and most of the mainstream telephone service providers will not allow it (in most cases they will only allow you to use caller ID of the telephone numbers you’re paying for, otherwise they will present a “default” phone number for the business), which goes to show the extents that Rachel et al, will go through to prevent their game from being caught. I haven’t had any calls from “Rachel” in quite a while (which means I’m probably due), but continue to get calls from a carpet cleaning business, and a charity that wants me to donate my car – not to mention the fake Microsoft technicians saying my computer is infected (that may be my next investigative series, as I know quite a bit on that one)..

      • CatwomanMN

        I have now been getting lots of calls on my cell phone which has limited minutes. I let it go to VM and then report the number to the do not call complaint form. This round is some loan company, same recording, so I called the number from my home number and said two words “keifer” and “daesh”. They eventually hung up and when I tried to call back the number wouldn’t go through. Did they block MY number? IDK but I will do it from the cell next time.
        What do the two words mean? If they have a foreign accent…it means ALOT!
        They hate those two words and I love those two words, lol.
        Fun with spammers, lol.

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