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Orange County

Man Admits Role in Telemarketing Scam

November 27, 2002|Mike Anton | Times Staff Writer

A Newport Beach man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges stemming from an Orange County-based telemarketing scam that authorities say defrauded 12,000 people nationwide out of nearly $4.4 million.

Daniel Eugene Carr, 35, is the eighth person to be convicted in the boiler room operation, which lured victims through newspaper classified ads offering a toll-free number and the promise of a lucrative career processing medical bills from home.

For $400, the company -- known variously as Data Medical Capital, Data-Med and Medco -- promised to deliver computer software, instructions and the names of doctors looking to hire someone to process claims.

Salesmen promised callers that the work-at-home business could bring in $30,000 to $40,000 a year. The company also set up a line that prospective buyers of the package could call to get recommendations from satisfied customers.

But the doctors were simply part of a generic listing. And the recommendations were given by salesmen posing as customers.

The operation, which began in La Habra in July 1998, moved twice before authorities shut it down in late 1999.

Five defendants in the case previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Two others were convicted by juries. All are awaiting sentencing.

Work-at-home scams involving medical billing have been around for at least five years, said Assistant U.S. Atty. John Early.

"The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is," he said.

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