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updated: 5/8/2013 6:31 PM

Crystal Lake man facing federal fraud charges

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Daily Herald report

A 46-year-old Crystal Lake man is facing federal mail fraud charges officials say stem from his role in a scheme involving counterfeit money orders.

Federal prosecutors said Michael S. Mackay ran a "secret shopper scheme" that duped victims into believing they were participating in a business evaluation enterprise. He was indicted Tuesday.

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Prosecutors said Mackay received at least $2 million worth of counterfeit money orders from New York, Ghana and Nigeria, which he used to pay people who had responded to his "work-from-home" advertisements on the Internet.

Victims were told to go to a local business and report their experiences in order to receive payments. They were given money orders and told to cash them at their banks and remit a portion back to Mackay. Authorities believe roughly $1 million worth of phony money orders were cashed and Mackay received roughly $10,000 from his victims.

Mackay is facing a maximum prison sentence of 20 years behind bars and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted.

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