The staffing business had been pretty good to 47-year-old Susan Yerdon of Groveland, Massachusetts. In fact, it was the only work she has done for the past 27 years, and in the past five years alone she netted more than $700,000. The only problem during that most recent period is she was only "pretending" to operate staffing companies.
Prosecutors say Yerdon was the mastermind in a lucrative scheme to steal money from lenders through fictitious companies. She and her co-conspirators set up a series of shell companies with names like “Pro Factor,” “Pro Force,” “Argent,” “Quantum,” and “Pro Flex,” according to this article in the Salem News, and then set up phony lists of clients.
For her efforts, Yerdon was sentenced to up to six years in state prison, after pleading guilty to money laundering and other charges. She also agreed to testify against some of her codefendants in the fraud.
Yerdon reportedly falsified financial records and other documents, even going so far as creating fictitious email exchanges between the fake staffing firms and the fake clients.
Prosecutors told the court she would then approach business lenders and companies that purchase accounts receivables from businesses, and obtain financing. Those lenders were located all over the country.
The scheme went on between 2010 and this past February, when Yerdon and five others were arrested following an investigation by Massachusetts state police as well as local authorities.
How she got caught
The way Yerdon got discovered was strange in its own right. Having burned through the credit of one of the co-conspirators, Yerdon obtained the personal information of a Massachusetts man who had simply bought a used car at a New Hampshire used car dealership.
That man was ultimately sued by the creditor who had issued a loan to a company created unknowingly in his name by Yerdon. The move destroyed the man’s credit and touched off the much wider investigation into Yerdon's shenanigans.
While it lasted though, Yerdon and her cohorts were living it up in style. Yerdon was renting a large home furnished with antiques and high-end appliances. She had a closet full of designer clothes and shoes, carried a leather Gucci purse and wore a gold Rolex.
Her garage was also full of luxury automobiles, including a Mercedes and a Lexus, that those in court got to see through photos.
Under the terms of her sentencing, Yerdon will also spend 10 years on probation for larceny, identity fraud, conspiracy and other charges.
She will be required to stay employed and pay all of her taxes. The prosecutor also noted that Yerdon currently has a number of civil judgments and tax liens against her that she’ll have to face when she gets out of prison.