On June 30, 2003, Boston Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Kenneth
W. Kaiser and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan
announced that two men from Montreal, Quebec have been federally
charged in connection with a fraudulent telemarketing scheme
that cost American citizens over $5 million in a 2-year period.
Posing as trustworthy officials, the accused allegedly notified
their victims that they had won a large lottery or sweepstakes
and need only pay an advanced payment to cover taxes, insurance,
and other fees. These funds were then wired to addresses
in Canada, or to offshore bank accounts.
Gilles Maisonneuve was arrested in Montreal;
Mitchell Karachinsky, the alleged co-conspirator, remains
at large. If convicted
they could face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
on each of the three charged counts. Boston SAC Ken Kaiser
said about the investigation, "Counterterrorism is our
first priority, but cases like this make a big difference
in everyday lives -- protecting some of our most vulnerable
multi-agency investigation is part of "Project
Colt," a cross-border task force that partners the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, U.S. Customs Service, FBI, U.S.
Postal Inspection Service, ontreal City Police, and the
Quebec Provincial Police.