A Texas-based marketing company is paying US$150 million to resolve allegations that it facilitated widespread elder fraud.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that it has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Epsilon Data Management LLC that includes US$127.5 million to compensate victims of fraudulent schemes perpetrated by the firm’s clients.
According to the DoJ, Epsilon used “sophisticated” data modelling techniques to identify consumers most likely to respond to marketing solicitations, and knowingly sold lists of prospective consumers to clients engaged in fraud.
These schemes “disproportionately affected the elderly and other vulnerable individuals,” it said.
In addition to the monetary sanctions, the firm agreed to implement changes to protect consumers’ data and to prevent the sale of that data to fraudsters.
“By allowing clients engaged in fraudulent schemes to buy data on millions of consumers most susceptible to their schemes, Epsilon employees facilitated those schemes with staggering effect,” said acting assistant attorney general Brian Boynton in a statement.
“We are encouraged by Epsilon’s cooperation since the misconduct was discovered, its remediation efforts, and its commitment to stringent new compliance measures,” he added.
The agreement resolves charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.