Florida

He fled after being indicted in a $50 million scheme. Now he may be in Florida.

Brian Wallen
Brian Wallen

The FBI believes a suspect indicted in a $50 million telemarketing fraud scheme might have left Maryland for Florida. And they’re offering $5,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Of the pair of Maryland men indicted in June, 56-year-old Andrew Stafford was arrested Wednesday while Brian Wallen’s whereabouts have been unknown since April 28. Each is facing a maximum 20 years for mail fraud conspiracy and for each count of mail fraud.

“Based in Maryland, the defendants allegedly cheated thousands of American businesses out of more than $50 million through a sophisticated scheme that involved sham sales of light bulbs and cleaning supplies,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in the news release announcing the indictment. “According to the allegations, company employees followed a script that included sending unsolicited supplies, lying to victims, and repeatedly submitting fraudulent bills.”

The company referred to is the combination Midway Industries, Johnson Distributing and other shell entities, some of which were incorporated in Florida. Wallen owned all or part of the companies while Stafford was president.

The Department of Justice announcement says from 2007 to 2014, Wallen, Stafford and their cohorts in the group of companies defrauded businesses by tricking them into paying stupendous prices for their product or paying for products never ordered.

Anyone with information about Wallen’s current location is asked to call the FBI’s Baltimore office at 410-265-8080.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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