ATLANTA – A federal jury in Atlanta has convicted Erick Powell, a former operator and co-owner of the National Vocation Group job-staffing company, of wire fraud. A second defendant and co-owner, Ahmad McCormick, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on August 31, 2017.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court, Powell and Ahmad McCormick operated a fraudulent job-staffing company in Atlanta called National Vocation Group (NVG) from August 2015 through October 2015. Powell and McCormick advertised online open and available jobs in the housekeeping and maintenance industries that paid above-average wages.
These advertisements falsely represented:
- NVG had existing contracts with commercial cleaning companies throughout the Atlanta area;
- The jobs paid above-average wages of up to $17/hour; and that
- NVG could place its clients in these high-paying jobs.
Applicants were told that to be hired for the advertised jobs, they would have to pay $349 for certain OSHA training. The applicants were falsely told that federal law required housecleaning and maintenance workers to take the OSHA General Industries Course before starting work in the advertised jobs.
Hundreds of applicants paid the $349 fee based on NVG’s false representations and took the OSHA course as required, but none of those applicants received the high-paying jobs they were promised.
McCormick pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy pursuant to a guilty plea agreement, and after a four-day trial, a federal jury returned a verdict convicting Powell on one count of substantive wire fraud.
Powell and McCormick will be sentenced in early 2018. Both defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.