An interesting case of what appears to be fraud out of La Plata County, perpetrated by a longtime local conservative online commentator and boisterous supporter of the recent recall attempt against La Plata County commissioner Gwen Lachelt–as the Durango Herald’s Jonathan Romeo reports:
Conservative political commentator April LaJune is facing increasing allegations that she is scamming people into a well-known fraud scheme that sells the idea there’s a secret government bank account people can use to pay off their bills and debt…
In November, LaJune started a business called “TDA (Treasury Direct Accounts) Account Information,” offering packages to help people access the alleged secret funds, which can be purchased for $450 on a website she created. LaJune runs the business from an office in Ignacio.
In recent days, former employees and people who claim they were scammed by LaJune’s business have spoken out in an attempt to prevent others from wasting time and money on the fraudulent scheme.
Former employees interviewed for this story say LaJune could be raking in anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 a month on promises to people who will never see any of these secret funds.
The reason no one will ever see these funds in reality is that, as the Treasury itself is happy to explain, they don’t exist:
A stripped-down version of this scheme is as follows: When the United States went off the gold standard in 1933, the federal government somehow went bankrupt. With the help of the Federal Reserve Bank, the government converted the bodies of its citizens into capital value, supposedly by trading the birth certificates of U.S. citizens on the open market. After following a complicated process of filing UCC documents with either the Secretary of State of the person’s residence or another state that will accept the filings, each citizen is entitled to redeem his or her “value” by filling out a sight draft drawn on their (nonexistent) TreasuryDirect account. The scheme asserts that each citizen’s Social Security Number is also his or her account number. As a part of the scheme, participants also file false IRS Forms 8300 and Currency Transaction Reports in the name of law enforcement officials and other individuals they seek to harass.
But no, really, says talk show host April LaJune, you’ve just got to be super careful and the magic money will flow:
“A lot of scammers are combative and lead people to think they can quit their job and not pay their bills,” LaJune said. “For us, it’s about using the ‘Accepted for Value’ process to push debts and credits across lines in commerce like people do every day.”
…LaJune on Tuesday said there’s a stark distinction between what her company does and what fraudsters attempt.
“It has to be true, because I’ve seen over and over again Accepted for Value work,” LaJune said. “But I’ve also seen over and over again people who don’t know how to do it, and if you don’t do the process correctly, you could be in jail.”
Our reading of the available information on this topic suggests that what winds a person up in jail over this business is attempting to defraud the federal government, not procedural errors in attempting to access something that, you know, actually exists. Contrary to the elaborate theory behind the existence of these alleged “secret bank accounts,” there U.S. government never had any occasion to collateralize the value of individual citizens–and if they did, it most certainly wouldn’t be a checking account you can access with the right routing and account number. LaJune’s whole business relies on fundamental lack of understanding about how the U.S. Treasury works, how the banking system works, and how stupid individual Americans can be about things they don’t understand.
Reading about this ludicrous scam, it’s a lot easier to understand why a group of like-minded La Plata County residents determined the United Nations is behind the county’s land use code and launched their half-baked attempt to recall a term-limited county commissioner.
Apparently you really can fool some of the people all of the time.