Canadian Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Telemarketing Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 28, 2009|
BOSTON, MA—United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division, announced that GILLES MAISONNEUVE, age 42, of Montreal, Canada, was sentenced on December 24, 2009 by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf to 10 years' imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution to victims across the United States.
At the hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that during a three-year period commencing in 2000, MAISONNEUVE participated in a scheme based in Montreal, Canada whereby MAISONNEUVE and others telephoned victims in the United States and the United Kingdom and pretended to award large cash prizes that could only be collected upon prepayment of taxes or fees. The telemarketers directed their victims to wire or mail substantial fees to Canada, claiming that the prize money would then be immediately released. Victims who sent money to Canada received nothing in return. When victims fell prey to the scheme, they were telephoned over and over again with claims of ever increasing prizes that required the payment of additional sums. In total, MAISONNEUVE and others were responsible for bilking unsuspecting victims out of more than $2.5 million. MAISONNEUVE was indicted in 2003 and fought extradition to the United States to face the charges until 2008 when he exhausted his final removal appeal and he was transported to Boston.
The case was investigated by Project Colt, a cross border law enforcement telemarketing initiative based in Montreal, and included the participation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori J. Holik of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.