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Kimberly Powell

Man Arrested for Internet Genealogy Scams!

By August 1, 2003

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Elias Abodeely II of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the man behind several genealogy Web site scams, has been arrested and charged with 1st degree theft, identity theft, money laundering, and ongoing criminal conduct according to local NBC affiliate KWWL. Over the past three years, Elias Abodeely has taken advantage of hundreds of unsuspecting genealogists with Web sites such as FamilyDiscovery.com, Genseekers.com, and GenealogyGiants.com. His Web sites not only tried to make money by charging for links to information that had been freely posted on the Web by magnanimous volunteers on sites such as Rootsweb.com, but also billed people's credit cards after not allowing them to cancel their free trial memberships. Investigators claim that Abodeely's three-year genealogy scam netted at least $14,000, according to an article by Christoph Trappe in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

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