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Telemarketers who defrauded elderly Illinoisans in prescription med scam sentenced

March 26, 2019, Springfield, IL — Three Canadian citizens have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison for their roles in defrauding elderly Southern Illinoisans in a prescription drug discount card telemarketing scam.

Fawaz Sebai, 41, and Vassilios Klouvatos, 34, both of Montreal, Quebec, were sentenced to serve to three years and eight months in federal prison, while Lefkothea Klouvatos, 27, also of Montreal, was sentenced to serve two and a half years, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Illinois stated.

In December, the three pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges, admitting they owned and operated a call room in Canada that marketed prescription drug discount cards to elderly Americans over the phone. According to the release, the three defrauded more than 5,000 people of more than $1.9 million. Seven of the victims were from Southern Illinois, residing in Carterville, Centralia, Granite City, Highland, Johnson City, Harrisburg and Smithton.

The defendants employed telemarketers to routinely lie and mislead the victims, the release stated, including telling people that they were calling on behalf of Medicare. Sometimes, the telemarketers would state or imply the victim might lose their Medicare benefits if they did not purchase a prescription drug discount card. The telemarketers also hit the fact the cards they were selling for $299 were available for free on the internet.

According to the release, the case was indicted in July 2014 and the Canadian government extradited all three defendants in 2018.

Source: Belleville News-Democrat

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