A former Sacramento man has been sentenced to prison for his role in a scheme to defraud customers of his medical mobility business, including elderly people and disabled veterans.
Carlos B. Jerez, 35, who most recently lived in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was sentenced today in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to eight months in prison and an additional four months of home confinement, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
Mueller ordered Jerez, after his release from prison, to complete 50 hours of community service specifically with organizations that provide services for people with mobility impairments. She also ordered Jerez to pay a $10,000 fine and restitution to all known victims for their financial losses.
According to court documents, Jerez was the owner of 1st Class Mobility Inc., a business that offered to sell motorized wheelchairs and scooters over the Internet. Between April 2008 and April 2009, Jerez and 1st Class Mobility received payment from consumers for motorized wheelchairs and scooters without the ability or intention to deliver the devices.
Despite receiving prepayment for the chairs, Jerez did not deliver the products that customers ordered. Authorities said he made various misrepresentations about the status of the products, such as claiming that they had been shipped, were stuck in customs, or were on a slow ship from China. Jerez also falsely claimed that refunds were available, or that a refund check had been issued.
Authorities said a number of the victims were disabled, elderly or disabled veterans.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office as part of the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, a partnership between state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes including fraud using computers and the Internet.