In United States v. Bryan D'Antonio, Bryan D'Antonio pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for owning illegitimate law firms, firms which represented themselves as offering struggling homeowners assistance with getting loan modifications. The fraudulent law firms were part of telemarketing schemes that convinced unsuspecting homeowners to pay upfront fees ranging from $3,500 to $5,500. The telemarketers sometimes told homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments. Many homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure after being victimized, as well as a lot of money, too.
In United States v. Ballard, two religious leaders of the I AM movement were convicted for fraudulently seeking and collecting donations in the total amount of $3 million, on the basis of religious claims that the leaders knew were false. The followers of the religion protested outside the courthouse, having collectively lost millions of dollars and developing a sense of mistrust for religious authorities who claim to believe something.
In United States v. Eric Andrews, Eric Andrews was sentenced to prison for a scheme that defrauded the Illinois EPA of millions of dollars. Between 2001 and 2013, Eric Andrews swindled money from an Illinois EPA fund to clean up contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. The firm sought reimbursement of its costs from the state EPA fund. Andrews admitted that he (and others) conspired to defraud the fund by artificially inflating cleanup expenses. Those inflated invoice amounts were collected. The government lost millions of dollars in resources, and the verification process for expenses had to be overhauled.
In Securities and Exchange Commission v. Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, Inc., Theranos and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, raised more than $700 million from 2013 to 2015 while deceiving investors. Holmes made it appear as though Theranos had developed a portable blood analyzer that could perform a bunch of lab tests from a small sample of blood. The company made false and misleading statements to the media, performed misleading technology demonstrations, and exaggerated about claims of the company's ties to partners and entities. Holmes and her attorneys reached a settlement agreement in which Holmes agreed to pay a $500,000 fine, hand over 19 million shares of the company, and was barred from being an officer of a public company for 10 years. Investors were cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars, and skeptical of business opportunities, which had a chilling effect on investment in other companies.