Three residents of Lima, Peru, pleaded guilty yesterday to extortion for overseeing a ring of call centers that threatened and extorted Spanish-speaking victims in the United States, the Department of Justice and U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced.
Jesus Gerardo Gutierrez Rojas, 37, Maria de Guadalupe Alexandra Podesta Bengoa, 38, and Virgilio Ignacio Polo Davila, 43, were extradited from Peru in April and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Roy K. Altman in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. As part of his guilty plea, Gutierrez admitted that he oversaw a number of affiliated call centers in Peru that falsely told Spanish-speaking victims across the United States that they had incurred debts and would suffer various consequences for failure to pay off the debts that they did not, in fact, owe. As part of their guilty pleas, Podesta and Polo admitted that they managed and supervised two of these affiliated call centers that used extortion to obtain money from U.S. victims.