I’ve said it before, but I just don’t understand why obvious telemarketing scams get a free pass from law enforcement for years.
In this case, a boiler room type call center in Culver City, CA would call charities, associations and businesses claiming to be their regular supplier of printers and printer toner. They’d take orders for re-supplies but then invoice them for 10x the regular price. If the customer complained, they’d be threatened with collections or legal action.
They netted over $120 million dollars over the course of 20+ years.
Here’s a picture of the alleged crooks:
It says in the article that the investigation started in 2012. That means the scamsters got away with their scheme for four more years. That’s an eternity.
I can only guess that law enforcement must have ignored previous complaints because:
- Each incident probably involved a small financial sum.
- It was probably considered a “civil” matter by the police.
Here in San Francisco, theft of property valued under $1,000.00 is pretty much ignored by police. Hence the rampant car break-ins (highest in the nation based on population, I believe).
Regarding point 2, it being a civil matter, I have personal experience with that.
A telemarketing consultant I hired to help me on a project took a $10,000.00 payment and then cut off all communications. I hired a private detective to track him down. Once I found him, I reported him to the police but they shrugged it off as a civil issue. Apparently, when you steal in a business context, it’s not a crime.
It should be interesting to hear why it took police this long to finally shut down the operation. Perhaps the scam artists got greedy and went for a big score.