Sentenced to 4 years in prison for selling inflated printer cartridges and earning $ 126 million from small businesses
The California Justice has sentenced Gilbert N. Michaels, a 79-year-old salesman who for decades was deceiving small businesses and charities with the sale of cartridges and toners for printers, to four years in prison. These cartridges are known to be expensive, but Michaels came to sell them for prices up to 10 times more expensive than the retail cost.
A multi-million dollar scam that affected thousands of small businesses and with which the scammer managed to obtain up to 126 million dollars. He is convicted along with six other people for fraud and money laundering. More than 50,000 deceived victims through a telemarketing system established for decades.
A phone scam dating back to the 70s
The Michaels scam began in the 70s and spans different states in the United States. Only during the six-year period for which he is sentenced, it is estimated that he sold cartridges worth 126 million dollars.
In addition to the four years in prison, Michaels is sentenced to pay a fine of $ 200,000. The scammer owned and operated through two companies: IDC Servco and Mytel International. Two companies that with the help of salespeople managed to fraudulently sell cartridges to thousands of companies and organizations. The commercials sold the cartridge pack to the companies and Michaels provided them at disproportionate prices.
Such was the scope of this sale, that some victims continued receiving cartridges even though they no longer had contracts with the different copiers and printers. A fraudulent sale that many of these businesses were not expecting.
Telephone commercials told victims that the price of these cartridges had increased and that they had not been notified of the increase. If they continued to listen to them, they were told that they now had the opportunity to acquire them at a lower price. These small businesses, believing that they were dealing with their usual supplier, signed the shipping requests.
A telephone scam that we have seen in multiple sectors and where the victims felt defenseless since when they complained to the INC company, it told them that it could not refund the money for having signed the order confirmation forms. In many cases, even when the scammed did not want to pay, legal action was threatened if the invoice for the ink cartridges and their inflated price were not paid.
Via | MarketWatch