Three individuals were sentenced to prison for their roles in an $11 million telemarketing scheme that defrauded primarily elderly victims in the United States from call centers in Costa Rica.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray of the Western District of North Carolina, Inspector in Charge David M. McGinnis of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Charlotte Division, Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (CI) Cincinnati Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of IRS-CI’s Charlotte Field Office and Special Agent in Charge John Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office made the announcement.
Donald Dodt, 76, originally of Cleveland, Ohio, Thomas Sniffen, 58, originally of Peekskill, New York, and Michael Saxon, 50, originally of Ontario, Canada, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina to 90 months, 114 months and 75 months in prison, respectively. Judge Cogburn also ordered restitution in the amount of $7 million for Dodt, $11,236,857.65 for Sniffen and $2,593,574.02 for Saxon to be paid jointly and severally with their co-conspirators.
Following a five-day trial in May 2019, Dodt was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, two counts of mail fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering and 10 counts of international money laundering. In April 2019, Sniffen pleaded guilty to all charges in the 31-count indictment charging conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, substantive counts of mail fraud and wire fraud, international money laundering and conspiracy to commit international money laundering. In May 2019, Saxon pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering.