The state’s Attorney General says he’s stopped a nationwide mail fraud scheme that used an Iowa mailing address. Attorney General Tom Miller says the mailings — some under the label “America’s Direct” — asked for small amounts of money from 10 to 20 dollars. He says they’re are led to believe that they’re likely to receive a large amount of money by answering the mailing. Miller says a man named Richard Panas of South Carolina heads up the nationwide operation that sent it’s mail to the Des Moines suburb of Clive. He says they sometimes like to have a mail address that sounds clean and open, and that’s probably why the set up the mail drop box in Iowa. He says the mailings were “prospecting for fraud” as they sought to find people willing to answer that could be continued targets of the mailings asking for more money. Miller says he’s pursuing action against Panas with other states that’re involved.He says they’ll coordinate action to see what is the best way to prosecute Panas. Miller showed off ten boxes of seized mail containing some seven thousand letters from those who answered the mailings — and it’s still coming. He says they continue to come in at a rate of about 500 a day, although it has slowed some. Miller says they’ll return all the money in the seized mail.
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