LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Beware of anyone trying to sell you investments over the phone.
Many consumers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars falling prey to a get-rich-quick pitch.
"This company told victims that one day it would be larger than Home Depot,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Al Herzog.
That was the hook that lured investors to give more than a half-million dollars to a home maintenance business.
"They would sign a contract with you and promise to do all of your home maintenance throughout the year,” Herzog said. “That would include raking the leaves, shoveling your driveway, washing your window."
It was just the beginning. Authorities say the company lured investors in with lies and half-truths.
"Some of the things people were promised was doing incredibly well financially, when, in fact, the company was losing money on a daily basis," Herzog said.
That led the company to go out of business.
"So when investors went to get their money back, there was nothing left to give them,” Herzog said.
Victims were sent stock certificates in the mail that were worthless. They had never been registered with the Securities Exchange Commission.
Inspectors say it is important for consumers to do their homework.
"In this case if they would have done an Internet research on one of the defendants they would have learned that he served a prison sentence in the 1990s for doing the exact same thing," Herzog said.
Both defendants in this case were sentenced to jail time in federal prison and to pay a combined restitution of almost $2 million.