In telemarketing, it’s called “cramming” ? slipping a charge onto a monthly bill without the customer knowing it. And today, federal prosecutors charged three operators of an Old City Internet company with cramming about $75 million in bogus fees from 350,000 small businesses across the country.
In a 26-count indictment, prosecutors allege that Neal D. Saferstein and two partners “picked the pockets” of small businesses, charging them each $29.95 a month for Internet services they didn’t want or know about. Telemarketers would dupe customers into receiving a “welcome package” that looked like junk mail and triggered monthly charges unless customers called to cancel, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Saferstein, 34, started GoInternet.net Inc., in 1997 and closed it in 2004. He was arrested early this morning at his home in Mt. Laurel.Saferstein faces criminal charges for perjury, tax evasion, mail and wire fraud, and failure to pay payroll taxes. If convicted on all counts, he faces 367 years in prison and a maximum fine of $4.71 million. [via the INQUIRER]