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GREED IS "BUSTING OUT" ALL OVER:
Credit schemes lead to guilty pleas

10/20/03

On October 10, an individual in California joined his co-conspirators and pled guilty to a costly and classic "bust out" scheme... that even victimized his own family.

Back in 1998, Valery Vasserman acquired a general merchandise company from his daughter in law, giving her a promissory note for it. The company remained dormant for about a year and a half, then Vasserman named himself president and began to seek massive amounts of credit in its name from credit card companies, banks, and high-end retail stores, falsifying much of the information on the applications. Because the company had had a good credit rating,
he got what he asked for.

And then some. Rolex and Tag Heuer watches. Stereo equipment. Diamonds. Designer clothing. Loans. You name it. To the tune of $4.5 million.

What happened when the bills caught up with him? "Bust out"! He immediately declared bankruptcy for himself and the company to avoid paying the outstanding debts.

Following an investigation of the FBI Los Angeles field office, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Vasserman pled guilty to 10 felony counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. His plea joined the guilty pleas of his wife and two other co-conspirators in that and several other "bust out" schemes... that, together, totted to an $11 million loss.

Who did Vasserman victimize? Some 200 individual and business victims in the U.S. and Canada -- from small businesses, to large department stores, to national banks. Not to mention Vasserman's daughter in law, innocent of the scheme, who never got a penny on the promissory note.