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

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, Clark B. Sampson and Donald P. Manfredonia, were sentenced on June 20, 2006, on charges arising from their activities at Public Telephone Corporation (“PTC”), of North Miami Beach, Florida. Sampson and Manfredonia were telemarketers who worked for PTC. They were indicted on June 23, 2005 on various counts of mail and wire fraud, and were convicted after a three-week trial before U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz.

Sampson was sentenced to a term of 77 months’ imprisonment and Manfredonia was sentenced to a term of 30 months. Both defendants were also sentenced to three (3) years of supervised release following their terms of imprisonment. At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz emphasized the seriousness of the crimes, warning that their conduct had torn at the basic fabric of society, weakening the ability of people to trust one another.

In prior proceedings on this case, co-defendants George Francis Kunkel, Jr., and Nathan J. Matalon were sentenced for charges arising from their activities at PTC. Matalon, of Miami, was sentenced on April 20, 2006, to a term of 92 months’ imprisonment and three (3) years of supervised release. Kunkel, of Cooper City, was sentenced on June 2, 2006, to a term of 137 months’ imprisonment and three (3) years of supervised release.

According to evidence introduced during their trial, defendants Sampson and Manfredonia solicited customers throughout the United States to purchase business opportunities involving payphones, customarily offering a package of seven (7) payphones for $15,000. To effectuate their scheme to defraud, the defendants made material false statements concerning, among other things, the expected profits of PTC’s payphones. Among other misrepresentations, the defendants falsely stated that PTC was in partnership with American Telephone & Telegraph and that a Wall Street investment firm supported PTC’s claims of profitability. In addition, the defendants provided potential customers with false references for them to call regarding PTC’s profitability. Sampson was responsible for individual sales of approximately $695,000, making him the highest producing PTC salesman. Manfredonia had sales of approximately $130,000.

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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