Prosecutor drops charges against Bloomington firm

May 23, 2007
Wire-fraud charges against International Outsourcing Services have been dismissed by federal prosecutors after the Bloomington company's new managers pledged to cooperate in the prosecutors' case against 11 of its indicted officials.

Topping the list of indicted executives are CEO Bruce A. Furr, Executive Vice President Lance Furr and Chief Financial Officer William L. Babler, all of whom live in Bloomington, according to The Herald-Times of Bloomington.

Trial dates have not been set.

The company is the nation's largest clearinghouse for coupons offered by grocers and manufacturers.

A federal grand jury in Wisconsin in early March charged IOS and the officials in a 25-count indictment for allegedly participating in a "wire-fraud scheme to defraud" manufacturers that use coupons in marketing products to consumers.

More than $250 million in losses were incurred through the alleged fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee claimed. Five Wisconsin companies were victimized, along with other companies around the country.

All told, nine IOS executives and employees and two individuals associated with the New Jersey coupon brokerage Riya Coupon Services allegedly submitted fraudulent coupons to manufacturers for payment between 1997 and 2006.

The charges followed an investigation by authorities, including the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.

The private company earlier this year said in a statement that it processes coupons for 40,000 retailers. It added that its customers are paid fairly for coupons they accept and that all manufacturers and other business partners are treated fairly.
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