Thursday, July 27, 2006
In a variation on the misdirected fax scam, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and the SEC filed criminal and civil fraud charges against three defendants alleging that they left of number of "mistaken" voicemail messages talking about a hot stock and creating the impression the caller had inside information. Much like the faxes utilizing the same approach, and even all those wonderful e-mails from various third-world countries, the lure of easy money can hook gullible investors who believe that money can be made with so little effort. The three defendants, Anna and Roderic Boling, who were married at the time of the scam, and Jeffrey Mills, left hundreds of thousands of messages. According to the SEC Litigation Release (here):
The messages, which were left on telephone voicemail recording machines throughout the country, were designed to make each recipient believe the caller had dialed the number by mistake. Many of the messages were left by a woman calling herself "Debbie" who sounded as if she had misdialed when calling a friend to pass along a hot stock tip . . . The [SEC] complaint alleges that Anna Boling recorded many of the messages over the phone from her Altamonte Springs [Fla.] home while her then husband, Roderic Boling, directed an Augusta, Georgia-based telemarketer to broadcast the messages. The complaint further alleges that Jeffrey Mills, who profited from trading in at least two of the touted stocks, paid Roderic Boling with a blue duffel bag of cash during a trip to a Gulfport, Mississippi casino. During that same trip, Roderic Boling paid the telemarketer with cash taken from that duffel bag.