ATLANTA – Allen J. Pendergrass and Terrell McQueen have been arraigned on charges of orchestrating a nationwide unclaimed property fraud scheme. They provided asset recovery services for clients, claiming they would recover unclaimed money and assets held by local and state governments for a fee. During that process, they allegedly forged documents, claiming thousands of dollars due to citizens, which they placed into accounts they controlled, never distributing the money owed.
“These defendants are charged with forging power of attorney forms to steal over $100,000 owed to local businesses and residents,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Citizens should remain vigilant in guarding their personal information as thieves continue to find new and creative ways to use it to perpetuate fraud schemes.”
“The defendants stole individual’s identities and received money that was not rightfully theirs,” said James Dorsey, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “The IRS will continue to investigate and disrupt these complex financial schemes holding those accountable for their wrongdoing.”
“This investigation involved the meticulous gathering of hard evidence which uncovered a significant financial fraud and identity theft scheme,” said David M. McGinnis, Inspector in Charge, Charlotte Division. “Postal Inspectors will vigorously pursue and bring to justice anyone who commits a crime by utilizing the US Mail system.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the indictment, and other information presented in court: From on or about 2004 until 2014, Pendergrass owned and operated Guishard, Wilburn & Shorts, LLC a company based on College Park, Georgia, that purportedly provided asset recovery services, including recovering unclaimed money and assets held by local and state governments for a fee. During that time, Pendergrass also owned or controlled other companies in Georgia that purported to provide the same services, including Asset Financial Recovery, Inc., Recovery Capital, Attorney Recovery System, National Asset Recovery Agency, Inc., Beacon Asset Recovery Agency, LLC, National Unclaimed Funds, Inc. and Service Pros, Inc.
In 2012, Pendergrass started Asset Financial Recovery, Inc., and was listed as the company’s chief executive officer. McQueen was listed as the chief financial officer. In 2013, Pendergrass and McQueen mailed forged power of attorney forms to the City of Atlanta and fraudulently claimed over $100,000 owed to local businesses and residents. These forms included forged signatures. Pendergrass and McQueen deposited stolen funds into bank accounts they controlled and did not provide the funds to rightful owners. Pendergrass, McQueen, and companies they controlled, perpetuated this fraud scheme across the country.
Allen J. Pendergrass, 60, of Fayetteville, Georgia, and Terrell McQueen, 37, of Fort Worth, Texas, were indicted on June 27, 2017.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Brown is prosecuting the case.
In that this remains an ongoing investigation, anyone with information regarding this matter should contact the United States Postal Inspection Service at877-876-2455.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.