Saturday, August 22, 2015
An Ohio man was convicted yesterday after a two-day jury trial for his role in a Costa Rican telemarketing scheme.
Paul Ronald Toth Jr., 40, of Wintersville, Ohio, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money-laundering concealment. Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina will be scheduled at a later date.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Toth was involved in a telemarketing scheme in which his co-conspirators contacted U.S. residents from call centers in Costa Rica, falsely informing them that they had won substantial cash prizes in “sweepstakes.” To claim the cash prizes, the victims – many of whom were elderly – were instructed to send a purported “refundable insurance fee.”
The trial evidence showed that, between approximately November 2009 and November 2010, Toth was a United States-based “smasher” who facilitated the laundering of funds received from the elderly victims. Specifically, according to the evidence presented at trial, Toth and others he recruited and supervised received over $300,000 from victims and, using various individuals as senders and recipients to conceal the fraudulent nature of the transactions, wired over $200,000 of those funds to co-conspirators in Costa Rica. The evidence further demonstrated that Toth kept the remainder as his profit.