PHOENIX -- "All that money – I knew I’d been lied to. I wanted it back,” Marilu Nashel said.
She drove all the way from Omaha, Neb. to the Valley to share this story with 3TV.
In the summer of 2010, Nashel, 83, got a phone call that ended up costing her big. It was a salesperson from a company called E-Commerce Traffic Solutions based in Arizona.
The salesperson told Nashel that they produced television and radio advertisements for companies that sold a variety of products, including pet foods and pet vitamins.
Nashel says she was told that she could help fund commercials and get a big return on her investment.
She did a little bit of research and found that the company – at that time -- was in good standing with the Better Business Bureau . E-Commerce Traffic Solutions later had its BBB accreditation revoked; its last known status was an F.
After shelling out $16,000, Nashel realized she wasn’t really sure what she had "invested" in.
She managed to stop one credit card from charging some of the money – but the rest, was gone.
“When you see an old woman taken advantage of, it raises an eyebrow,” attorney Pouria Paknejad from the Vescio Law Firm said. “It makes you wonder how many other people this could have affected in the Valley.”
After hearing from Nashel and her attorney, who has filed legal action to try to get her money back – 3TV went looking for Wadell Holman, the man who owns E-Commerce Traffic Solutions.
The search led us to a halfway house for recovering drug addicts in Phoenix.
Residents there told us that Holman used to live there.
When we finally got Holman on the phone, we asked him if this was all a scam.
“No, of course it’s not a scam,” he said.
But when we asked about those commercials they were supposedly producing with the thousands of dollars charged to Marilu Nashel’s credit cards, Holman ended up hanging up the phone.
We tried to check the
Paknejad has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nashel, claiming that she was the victim of fraud.
“Maybe I won’t get my money back,” Nashel said. “But putting this guy out of business – that would be satisfying. That’s what I may have to settle for.”
Nashel's attorney says this is a clear case of fraud and believes there might be more victims.