Scam targeting seniors used to finance porn business - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Scam targeting seniors used to finance porn business

CLEVELAND - What do senior citizens in Cleveland and pornography have in common? The Investigator, Tom Meyer, had the answer in a story that you could have only seen on Action News.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors say that a scam targeting older Clevelanders is being used to finance a pornography business.

A company called Ultra Corp. out of Los Angeles is soliciting senior citizens in Cleveland. Unsuspecting victims send money, unaware of where it actually goes.

"Ultra Corporation is used for and funds pornography and X-rated videos," Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Paul Soucie said.

So why would people even send their money? Prosecutors blame a silver-tongued Californian named Donald Howard, who convinces trusting seniors that they've won a $50,000 cash prize. To claim it, the "winners" must pay a processing and delivery fee of more than $600.

"Basically, it's the same story," Soucie said. "He tells them there are express delivery fees and it's going to be hand-delivered by a courier."

Already, there have been nearly two dozen victims -- all between the ages of 78 and 93. All of the victims thought that they were getting a grand prize, not knowing that their money was going to finance X-rated materials.

"There are likely more victims in Ohio and the rest of the country," Soucie said.

The case has gone to the grand jury. Indictments are expected soon.

Howard has an extensive arrest record. The prosecutor's office is seeking a 45-count felony indictment against him.

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