LAREDO, Texas (CN) – A Canadian faces up to 30 years in federal prison for heading a telemarketing scam that defrauded $3 million from elderly Americans.
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Ragavan Thamby, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit telemarketing fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Thamby was indicted in 2009 over the scheme that ran from 2002 to 2007, prosecutors said.
At a Wednesday plea hearing, Thamby admitted that his Toronto-based organization made elderly Americans believe they had won a lottery or sweepstakes, or had unclaimed funds, prosecutors said.
“The people were then told they would have to send Thamby’s organization money in order to claim the prize or money,” the government said in a statement. “As a result of his fraudulent scheme, Thamby or his organization netted approximately $3 million from more than 600 victims.”
Thamby must pay his victims $3.5 million in restitution as part of his plea deal, prosecutors said.
He will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing, for which a date has not yet been set.
Besides the prison time, Thamby faces up to $1 million in fines.