LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, Uni…

LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney of the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Deborah Platt Majoras, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, announced today that defendants, Nathan J. Matalon and George Francis Kunkel, Jr., were sentenced for charges arising from their activities at Public Telephone Corporation (“PTC”) of North Miami Beach, Florida. Matalon, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced on April 20, 2006, to a term of 92 months imprisonment and three (3) years of supervised release and Kunkel, of Cooper City, Florida, was sentenced today, June 2, 2006, to a term of 137 months imprisonment and three (3) years of supervised release.

On June 23, 2005, Matalon, Kunkel and three (3) other defendants were named in a thirty-three (33) count Indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, and wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. As alleged in the Indictment, Matalon directed the business activities of PTC, including those of its telemarketers, while defendant Kunkel was a telemarketer and assisted Matalon in the supervision of other telemarketers at PTC. According to the Indictment, the defendants solicited customers throughout the United States to purchase business opportunities regarding payphones, customarily offering a package of seven (7) payphones for $15,000. Specifically, the Indictment charged that the defendants conspired and schemed to unjustly enrich themselves by misappropriating approximately $2 million from purchasers by making material false statements and omissions concerning, among other things, the expected profits of PTC’s payphone business opportunity. Among other misrepresentations alleged in the Indictment were that PTC was in partnership with American Telephone & Telegraph, that a report by a well-known Wall Street investment firm supported PTC’s claims of profitability, and that a fake reference whose name was given by PTC to potential customers was an actual customer of PTC who was profitably operating payphones.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade Commission. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luis Perez and Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Couillou.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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