Former California Business CEO Charged with Fraud and Identity Theft

An indictment unsealed recently has charged Jason Edward Thomas Cardiff, a 48-year-old former CEO of a California-based business, with multiple counts of fraud and identity theft. Cardiff, previously residing in Upland, California, allegedly orchestrated unauthorized charges on thousands of consumer credit and debit card accounts.

Details of the Allegations

Cardiff, who owned and operated Redwood Scientific Technologies, is accused of directing his employees to use credit and debit card information from past customers to make unauthorized charges for products those customers never ordered. This fraudulent activity reportedly occurred between January and May 2018. The company, known for selling homeopathic thin film strip products, allegedly exploited customer trust in this scheme.

In addition, Cardiff is also accused of witness tampering, having allegedly ordered employees to destroy documents responsive to a Federal Trade Commission Civil Investigative Demand.

Legal Response and Implications

Principal Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton emphasized the Justice Department’s dedication to investigating such unauthorized charges and holding perpetrators accountable. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada echoed these sentiments, condemning the exploitation of consumer trust by predatory businesses.

Inspector in Charge Carroll Harris of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Los Angeles Division highlighted the role of postal inspectors in uncovering the fraud, reaffirming their commitment to protecting consumers from such schemes.

Court Proceedings and Potential Sentences

Cardiff made his initial court appearance on November 27 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brianna Fuller Mircheff. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years for access device fraud, 20 years for witness tampering, and a mandatory minimum of two years for aggravated identity theft. The sentencing will be determined by a federal district court judge, considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Cardiff has pleaded not guilty, with his trial scheduled for January 23, 2024.

The case is being investigated by USPIS and prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Manu Sebastian and Brianna Gardner of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Valerie Makarewicz.

This case highlights the ongoing efforts of the Justice Department and other federal agencies to combat financial fraud and protect consumer rights. The indictment serves as a reminder of the legal repercussions that can arise from exploiting consumer trust and engaging in fraudulent business practices.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.

One Reaction
  1. The charges against the former California business CEO for fraud and identity theft underscore the importance of ethical business practices. Meanwhile, businesses seeking reliable services, such as SEO, should prioritize reputable companies. The incident serves as a reminder to exercise due diligence when choosing partners to avoid potential legal and financial repercussions.

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