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Crystal Lake Man Charged With ‘Secret Shopper’ Fraud Scheme

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Crystal Lake man has been charged with mail fraud, after he allegedly sent more than $1 million in counterfeit money orders to people he asked to be “secret shoppers.”

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports federal prosecutors have alleged 46-year-old Michael McKay sent out fake money orders – ranging from $900 to $2,000 – to more than 600 homes across the U.S.

McKay allegedly asked people to become “secret shoppers,” and evaluate local businesses. In exchange, he told them they would be able to deposit the money orders at their banks, but had to go to Western Union and wire a percentage back to him.

They would later learn the money orders were fakes only after they had wired the money.

Prosecutors said McKay netted about $10,000 from his scheme.

If convicted of the two counts of wire fraud he’s facing, he could receive a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, plus fines.

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