Thursday, February 18, 2010

White Collar: DOJ Charges West Palm Beach Man with Telephone "Cramming"

A federal grand jury in Florida has voted an indictment against Willoughby Farr of West Palm Beach charging him in a telephone cramming scheme. "Cramming" occurs when a telephone customer is billed for services that he did not order or use. According to Department of Justice officials, it is a type of consumer fraud that steals hundreds of thousands of dollars from consumers annually.

The indictment alleges that Farr, using three of his companies, billed customers for collect calls that they had not made. It is alleged that the fraud took place between April 2003 and December 2005. The government claims that the charges appeared on the last page of the customers' telephone bills and that many customers paid the phony charges.

The indictment further alleges that, as part of the scheme, Farr hid his ownership of the three companies. This was because other telephone companies submitting bills to their customers had refused to allow Farr to bill for services on their accounts after state regulators had sued him for improper billing.

The charges against Farr include mail fraud and wire fraud. For more about the indictment, please see PCWorld, February 17, 2010,,189590/printable.html

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