Sixty people have been charged in a widespread magazine telemarketing scam that authorities say netted $300 million from more than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable people nationwide. U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald called the scam the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.
The indictments and other court documents say that over the last 20 years, the defendants used a network of dozens of fraudulent magazine sales companies and telemarketing call centers to carry out the scam.
Employees allegedly used deceptive sales scripts to trick people into making large or repeat payments to the companies.
The indictments charge defendants at all levels of the alleged conspiracies, including people who allegedly led the scheme, company owners, call center managers, telemarketers and others. Those who led the scheme provided the companies software programs that tracked orders, sales, and other customer information.