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Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - Federal prosecutors in Minnesota today announced charges against dozens of people accused of the nationwide telemarketing scheme to rip off senior citizens and vulnerable individuals.

US Attorney for Minnesota Erica MacDonald says 60 people, including 15 Minnesotans, are named in three separate indictments for their alleged roles in a nearly $350 million fraud scheme involving telemarketing magazine sales. The charges include conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and violating the Senior Citizens Against Marketing Scams Act of 1994. McDonald says the defendants are spread across 14 states and two Canadian provinces.

“The thieving greed of fraudsters who target senior citizens knows no bounds,” said FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul. “Using a tactic like telemarketing magazine sales, these deceitful scam artists bilk hard earned money from their aging victims – leaving so many financially devastated in their retirement years and without recourse for recovery. The FBI is working intently to help ensure our elderly fellow citizens are protected and not defrauded.”

According to the charges and supporting documentation, the people accused in the case have defrauded over 150,000 victims over the past 20 years. The alleged scheme involved bogus magazine sales companies that operated call centers that employed deceptive sales scripts to target senior citizens and vulnerable adults.

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