ATLANTA – Before you sign up for that so-good-it-can’t-possibly-be-true work-from-home job, be wary. An Atlanta man was recently jailed for defrauding residents in such a scam.
Detrick Mattox, 33, of Ellenwood, was sentenced to two years in prison for operating numerous fraudulent work-from-home businesses. He was found guilty of committing mail fraud March 18.
“This scheme was designed for one simple purpose – to swindle people out of their hard-earned money through lies and deceit,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Mattox preyed on folks just trying to earn a living.”
Mattox ran dozens of businesses that pretended to offer its employees work-from-home opportunities. He claimed that members who applied for the program and paid an initiation fee would be able to work from their homes and earn up to $5,000 per week. The members were supposed to assemble materials into booklets and mail the booklets to addresses provided by Mattox.
To join the program, prospective members had to pay Mattox an up-front initiation fee of approximately $50 to $500. He typically instructed prospective members to pay the initiation fee by mailing a money order to one of his many businesses.
Once the initiation fee was paid, the majority of the members never received any materials to assemble for their work-from-home businesses. The few members who did receive materials from Mattox and assembled and then mailed those materials were never paid for their services. After Mattox received a member’s initiation fee, virtually all attempts by the member to contact the work-from-home businesses were ignored.
Finally, to avoid consumer complaints and negative public information, Mattox frequently changed the names, websites and contact information of the work-from-home businesses.
More than 200 people from throughout the metro Atlanta region responded to advertisements by Mattox and became members.
Roswell Police Spokeswoman Lisa Holland said there were easy warning signs about Mattox and his scam.
“When somebody asks you for money so that you can be employed, that’s always a red flag,” Holland said. “You should never have to pay somebody for employment.”