Federal investigators arrested a Canadian man in Orlando February 9 on charges that he bilked U.S. seniors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a fraudulent prize-promotion telemarketing scheme.
The U.S. attorney general's office accused Denis Morin of leading a boiler-room scam that operated out of Laval, Quebec. Telemarketers posing as lawyers, judges or other government officials told consumers they had won a large monetary prize that they could claim only by sending thousands of dollars in supposed fees to a Canada address, according to the attorney general.
None of the consumers who sent money received any prizes, according to the charges.
During a three-week period in January, the telemarketers placed more than 1,000 calls, resulting in 46 American consumers sending $436,000 and another 208 indicating they would send a total of $2.9 million, the attorney general's office said.
The telemarketers used prepaid calling cards to place the calls in an effort to conceal caller-ID information, according to the attorney general's office.
Morin, 38, was charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud.