The last of 18 people who pleaded guilty in a fraudulent telemarketing enterprise was sent to prison today in Miami County Common Pleas Court..
Judge Robert Lindeman sentenced Roger VanDoren III, 30, to four years in prison for his role in a scam that stole millions of dollars from thousands of people in 41 states, according to a release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
“Today’s sentence is the final step in taking down a massive criminal enterprise,” said Miami County Prosecutor Anthony E. Kendell. “I appreciate Attorney General DeWine’s commitment to bringing scammers to justice and look forward to continuing to work with his office.”
The scam, which started in Ohio in 2007 initially operating in Troy, Vandalia and Huber Heights, involved contacting older people who owned inexpensive vacant land. The victims were told by the fraudulent telemarketers that the values of their properties had dramatically increased and investors were waiting to buy, according to the release.
In some instances, victims agreed to pay fees as high as $16,000 to complete non-existent sales.
In October 2011, the Attorney General’s Office seized records, computers and cell phones after raids of several offices in Ohio and Florida.
“”We won’t tolerate scammers who steal from vulnerable citizens,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “What they did was unconscionable, and now they are paying for the crimes they committed against people in Ohio and across the country.”
The complete list of defendants and their sentences, visit OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.