Don’t Mess With Seniors: Court Slaps Telemarketing Scammer With $10.7 Million Penalty

Photo (cc) by Julian Carvajal

Nearly a year after the Federal Trade Commission shut down a multimillion dollar phone scam targeting seniors, a U.S. district court has imposed a judgment of $10.7 million and permanently barred the operation’s ringleader from telemarketing activities.

According to the FTC, Ari Tietolman headed up a cross-border telemarketing operation that cheated tens of thousands of American seniors out of more than $20 million. The seniors were tricked into purchasing phony fraud protection, legal protection and pharmaceutical benefit services, which ranged in price from $187 to $397.

The elderly consumers were conned into divulging their personal bank account information. “The defendants then used consumers’ bank information to create checks drawn on the consumers’ bank accounts,” the FTC said. The money was eventually transferred to Canada, where Tietolman lives.

Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a statement:

Callers working for Ari Tietolman lied to older people and took their money without permission. Their actions were abhorrent. We’re gratified that the court banned Mr. Tietolman from any future telemarketing and awarded over $10 million.

The corporate entities involved in the scam include First Consumers LLC; PowerPlay Industries LLC; Standard American Marketing, Inc.; 1166519075 Quebec Inc., doing business as Landshark Holdings Inc.; and 1164047236 Quebec, Inc. d/b/a Madicom, Inc.

Marc Ferry and Robert Barczai also participated in the scam, the FTC said. They settled their charges in February.

Learn how to protect yourself from phone scams.

Have you been a victim of a telemarketing scam? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Most Popular
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages
New Retirement Bill Would Help Savers of All Ages

With bipartisan support, this bill could help millions of workers and retirees boost or conserve their retirement savings.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.