1 October 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, legal, attorney, law firm, criminal law newsMarcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Tax Division; Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of
Investigation; and Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue
Service, Criminal Investigation, announced today that defendant, Arne Soreide,
former Chief Economic Officer of Accutel Communications Inc., was sentenced by
United States District Court Judge James Cohn in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to a term
of two hundred thirty-six (236) months in prison and a term of three (3) years of
supervised release. Judge Cohn also ordered the defendant to pay the amount of
$7,603,959.25 as restitution and the amount of $6,800 as a special assessment.
Consistent with the jury’s July 7, 2004 finding in connection with the forfeiture
phase of the prosecution, Judge Cohn also ordered the forfeiture of $7.5 million in
criminal proceeds, including the defendant’s Boca Raton waterfront residence.
The defendant has been in custody since July 6, 2004, the date of his conviction on
all sixty-eight (68) counts of the Indictment. The Indictment charged the
defendant with conspiring to defraud long distance telephone customers and
suppliers of telecommunication services by “slamming” and “cramming” telephone
customers’ long distance telephone service and defrauding the suppliers, twenty-six
(26) counts of mail and wire fraud, thirty-nine (39) counts of money laundering,
and two (2) counts of filing false tax returns. “Slamming” refers to the practice
of deceptively switching a telephone customer’s long distance carrier, without the
customer’s permission. “Cramming” refers to the practice of placing unsolicited
monthly recurring charges on a customer’s bills.
The government’s evidence at trial showed that the defendant, in addition to
engaging in the referenced practices, obtained long distance service from wholesale
long distance carriers without fully paying for those services and that the
defendant contracted with rating or billing companies to facilitate the billing of
Accutel’s purported telephone customers while not fully paying them and diverted
Accutel assets for his personal use. The defendant also laundered the proceeds of
his fraudulent scheme and filed income tax returns that misrepresented his true
individual and corporate 1998 income by approximately over $2 million.
In addition to its July 6th verdict, the jury, in a supplementary sentencing
proceeding on July 21, 2004, found that certain sentencing enhancements applied.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. This case is being prosecuted by
Senior Litigation Counsel Neil Karadbil and Department of Justice Tax Attorney