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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Medical Fee Scam

CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- Veterans are targets for scam artists and so are small businesses.

Local 12 Troubleshooter, Howard Ain, says a group of crooks stole almost three million dollars and they got the money from more than a thousand victims.  It's a scam that has been around for a long time but, as you'll see, it still works.

Small companies have lost millions of dollars to con artists who charge for items never delivered.

Edward Kljunich from the U.S. Postal Service said, It was a total scam from the start."

A small group of con-artists zeroed in on medical groups or companies with less than 100 employees.

The company would receive an invoice in the mail, usually for $600.00, for two cases of latex gloves.

The first problem was, The quantity they were saying they were shipping was never sent to the companies.

And the second problem was, If the company did pay the first invoice, they would then generate a second invoice for a larger number, larger quantity, larger amount and send that to that company. And if they paid that, they would increase it again.

The con-artists were charging for items they never sent and counting on no one in the company noticing.

The left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing.

The scammers made a killing.

There were over 2.6 million dollars in losses and over 1,000 victims nationally.

Some advice for small companies, thoroughly check out a company before you do business with them.

Make sure a process is in place so if something comes in, you know what it was and you know what you're paying for, not just sending a payment out for something you don't know you've received or not.

Two of the three people charged in this case worked out a plea deal in which one went prison for three years while the other was placed on probation for five years.

The ring leader accidentally drowned two weeks before his trial was to begin.

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