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Fla. Man Gets Prison for Bilking Consumers of $35 Million in Collect Call Scam

TelephonesBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

We often think that once a criminal is behind bars, society is a little safer.

William Farr shows us that’s not necessarily true.

The 46-year-old West Palm Beach man, while in the West Palm Beach County Jail, ran a scam in which he fleeced consumers of $35 million by charging them for collect phone calls that were never made, according to the Justice Department.

Late last week, he was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for pulling off the scam known as a “cramming scheme.”

Court documents show that from April 2003 to December 2005 Farr used three West Palm Beach companies – Nationwide Connections Inc., Access One Communications Inc., and Connect One Communications Inc. – to defraud consumers, the Justice Department said.

Farr arranged for telephone companies to falsely bill consumers, and because charges normally appeared on the last page of the telephone bill, many paid the charges, the Justice Department said.

During his plea, Farr that he had hid his ownership of the three firms because “other firms had cut off his ability to bill for calls due to consumer complaints and the fact that state regulators had sued him for illegitimate billing,” the Justice Department said.

“As this sentence demonstrates, the Justice Department has put a priority on protecting the public from fraudulent schemes. This case should also remind consumers to carefully review their telephone bills for unauthorized charges,” Tony West, assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division said in a statement.”


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