Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

March 30, 2006 13:19 ET

Competition Bureau Investigation Leads to Deceptive Telemarketing Charges Against Individuals and Office Supplies Companies

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 30, 2006) - The Competition Bureau today announced that criminal charges have been laid against four persons allegedly involved in deceptive telemarketing activities in Quebec. The accused are: Neil Leventhal, 48, of Montreal; Pierre Richard, 40, of Candiac; Rick Aquino, 43, of Laval; and Matthew Grenia, 25, of Stanbridge Station. Also charged are the companies: Merchant Supply International (MSI) (9094-6858 Quebec Inc.) and International Merchant Supply (IMS) (3838102 Canada Inc.).

Small and medium businesses in Canada and the United States were contacted by telemarketers claiming to be their regular suppliers of rolls of paper, ink cartridges and cleaning cards for use with electronic payment and credit card devices. The telemarketers also claimed that an increase in the price of these supplies was imminent. The telemarketers failed to disclose important information, such as the price of the merchandise offered and the terms and conditions of returning it. The businesses subsequently received office supplies which they would not have ordered had it not been for the false representations.

These two companies are estimated to have generated approximately $7.8 million in revenue between January 2000 and February 2004. The Bureau received 619 complaints, many of them from the PhoneBusters national call centre.

"Everyone is a potential target of deceptive telemarketing," said Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau. "As part of Fraud Prevention Month, we encourage businesses and consumers alike to regonize fraud, report it and stop it."

This investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM).

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that promotes and maintains fair competition so that all Canadians can benefit from competitive prices, product choice and quality service. It oversees the application of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

Contact Information

  • Competition Bureau
    Maureen McGrath (media enquiries)
    Communications Advisor
    Communications Branch
    (819) 953-8982
    (613) 296-2187 (cell)
    or
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre (general enquiries)
    (819) 997-4282
    1 (800) 348-5358