2 Men Convicted in Gumball Telemarketing Fraud

Share this content:
A federal jury in Boston returned a guilty verdict against two men Friday on charges that they ran a $400,000 telemarketing scam in which they sold gumball machines but never delivered to customers.

William M. Ranney Sr., 56, of Saugus, MA, and Dennis Cioffi, 26, of Medford, MA, were convicted in U.S. District Court on multiple charges of mail and wire fraud. In the scam, telephone solicitors from the men's company, Big Top Gumball, sold 6-foot-tall gumball machines for $5,000, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Consumers were guaranteed at least $1,000 in revenue from the machines each month, the attorney's office said. They were also promised delivery of the machines six to eight weeks after ordering.

However, during an order backlog after February 1997, Big Top Gumball continued to market the machines for 18 months despite being unable to deliver the product, the attorney's office said. Of the dozens of customers who ordered during that period, only five received their full orders and more than 50 received no machines.

The men are scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington on June 18. They face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for each charge, plus restitution.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above