Blaine business owner pleads guilty to $600,000 fraud that scammed hundreds of jobseekers

A Blaine man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for an employment opportunity scheme that defrauded hundreds of jobseekers out of about $600,000, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Court officials say Charles Edward Fields, 44, owned and operated a series of companies that he posted fake job listings for.

Applicants for the bogus jobs then paid him upfront deposits that ranged between $3,000 and $5,000. The victims in these scams were told they were hired as sales contractors to sell products for home security or water filtration systems. A news release from the DOJ states that Fields “misrepresented his affiliation” with the company that designs and distributes the products.

The companies owned by Fields included HOMESoft Systems Incorporated, WaterTek Marketing Corporation, Water Innovations Group, Inc., W I G Holdings Corporation, Mile High H20 Corporation and the NEW H2O.

The news release goes on to say the fake jobs were routinely posted nationwide and promised training, sales leads and $6,000 of guaranteed monthly profit.

Many victims never received the products they paid for, the training they were promised or the profits they were seeking.

Prosecutors say Fields spent much of the victims’ funds on his own use and benefit or to refund some victims with other victims’ money, making up excuses about why he couldn’t fulfill the employment promises made.

At least 250 victims were scammed out of a total of at least $600,000.

FBI investigators helped build the case against Fields, who entered a guilty plea in federal court Wednesday.

His sentencing date has not yet been set, but federal law shows he could face up to 20 years in prison.