Industry Canada

Industry Canada
Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

June 12, 2007 14:49 ET

Montreal-Based Scam Allegedly Bilks Organizations of $10-Million

Competition Bureau Investigation Leads to Charges Against Individuals and Companies

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2007) - The Competition Bureau today announced that criminal charges have been laid against three individuals allegedly involved in deceptive telemarketing activities in Montreal. The scam targeted businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies across Canada, and invoiced them for toner cartridges they did not order and did not want.

According to victims interviewed by the Competition Bureau, the prices charged by the accused were three to four times higher than what they would pay their actual supplier of toner cartridges. The Bureau alleges that the companies scammed over 23,000 organizations out of more than $10 million between1999 and 2004.

The accused are Emilio Ciciola, 42, Johanne Marzitelli, 37, and Ronald Macdonald, 39, all of Montreal. Also charged are the companies: Laser Depot (9128-6815 Quebec Inc.), Corporate Supply Center (9070-6136 Quebec Inc.) and Marketing Vision Directe Inc.

"Deceptive telemarketing operations prey on all facets of the business community, bilking unsuspecting companies of millions of dollars," said Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau. "The Bureau is committed to combatting this criminal activity through rigorous investigation and prosecution of those involved."

The accused allegedly convinced customers to accept and pay for toner cartridges by leading them to believe they were dealing with their regular supplier. Customers were told that a price increase was imminent and that they would be receiving a product before the price increase, thus creating the impression of a cost savings. The businesses subsequently received office supplies which they would not have accepted delivery for had it not been for the false representations. The telemarketers failed to disclose important information, such as the price of the merchandise offered and the purpose of the telephone call.

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.

Contact Information

  • For media inquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Maureen McGrath
    819-953-8982 or Cell.: 613-296-2187
    For general inquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    819-997-4282 or Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
    TDD (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844