Montana man pleads guilty to wire fraud in phone cramming case

04/07/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Montana – A Montana man charged in connection with a phone cramming scam that racked up $70 million in unauthorized charges for individuals has pleaded guilty in the case. According to an Associated Press (AP) report, prosecutors say 59-year-old Steven Sann’s companies tricked customers into paying for services they did not give authorization for or receive.

The case against the Stevensville man involved fax services and voicemail accounts that people seeking job-search help or answering questions for free products online possibly signed up for unknowingly.

According to data the Federal Trade Commission collected in the matter, from the period from March 2010 to April 2012 less than one percent of customers that had voicemail accounts through the companies accessed them. Many customers were unaware that they were being charged.

In 2013, the FTC filed a civil action against Sann, nine companies, and others seeking to have the operation shut down by a federal court.

Sann was initially charged with multiple counts and wire fraud and money laundering, and one count of conspiracy. Per his recent agreement, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and money laundering. According to Sann’s attorney, Peter Lacney, the agreement recommends a prison term of two-years. He is set to be sentenced on July 17.

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