Elroy Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Wire Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2013|
MADISON, WI—John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Timothy D. Mueller, 46, Elroy, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to 30 months in prison for wire fraud. Mueller pleaded guilty to this charge on October 3, 2013.
Between August 2006 and September 2008, Mueller did business as Advanced Home Tech/Custom Creations and Windesigns and engaged in a scheme to defraud GE Money Banks and would-be customers. As part of the scheme that Mueller ran, television commercials advertised free doors to people who agreed to let his company make in-home sales presentations for windows. Once in the home, Mueller’s sales representatives convinced people to fill out applications for credit cards, telling them that the applications were just to determine their qualifications for financing.
Mueller then would file the applications and charge the credit cards without authorization or knowledge of the would-be customers, even when the customers did not agree to order windows. GE Money Banks covered the loss to the customers of $391,298.75, and Judge Adelman ordered that Mueller pay restitution in that amount to GE.
In sentencing Mueller, Judge Adelman noted that the scheme was rather elaborate, involved many potential victims, and that Mueller was verbally abusive to at least one of the customers that complained. Judge Adelman also considered Mueller’s significant criminal record, which included three convictions for driving under the influence.
The charge against Mueller was the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Eau Claire Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Przybylinski Finn.