Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

June 11, 2007 14:22 ET

Industry Canada: Quebec Telemarketers Charged for Operating Business-to-Business Directory Scam

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2007) - The Competition Bureau announced today that 11 individuals have been charged with four counts each under the deceptive telemarketing provisions of the Competition Act for their involvement in a Montreal-based scheme directed toward businesses in the United States. The accused operated under the following names: Datatech Communications Inc.; Liberty Communications; I-Pages America; Infone Publications; I-Point and CommerceCorp.

Those charged under the deceptive telemarketing provisions of the Competition Act are: Elias Bakomichalis (36, Montreal); Kyriakos Bakomichalis (31, Dollards-des-Ormeaux); Robert Brewer (33, Pierrefonds); Gregory MacNeil (43, Hudson); John Balyta (31, Montreal); Wayne Matthew Delormier (37, Kahnawake); Ronald Diabo (39, Kahnawake); Michael Stacey Spencer (49, Kahnawake); Matthew Aguba (29, Montreal); Sayyid Quadri (30, Montreal); and A. Zack Said (39, Montreal).

The charges stem from a Bureau investigation of complaints it received from small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. alleging that they had received deceptive telemarketing calls from the accused and their companies, who led them to believe they were receiving a call from their existing supplier of business directories to renew a subscription, when in fact the American companies had never dealt with the accused previously.

As part of the alleged scam, from 2000 to 2004, telemarketers contacted their victims, claiming that they were updating information in their business directory listings. The telemarketers implied that the business had ordered a listing in the past and that someone in the company had already authorized an order.

"Everyone is a potential target of deceptive telemarketing," said Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau. "We encourage businesses and consumers alike to recognize fraud, report it and stop it."

This investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago and the Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal.

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 services. It oversees the application of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

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