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2 Salesmen Sentenced in Magazine Scheme

They will each serve 150 days for selling an 85-year-old Camarillo woman 200 years' worth of subscriptions.

March 18, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

Two magazine salesmen will each serve 150 days in jail after being convicted of defrauding an 85-year-old Camarillo woman, who ended up paying for more than 200 years' worth of subscriptions, according to the district attorney's office.

Jeremy Marquez, 21, of Sacramento, and Jonathan Carey, 22, of Tacoma, Wash., each pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft from an elder. Both men also received 36 months' probation during their sentencing Tuesday.

According to authorities, Marquez and Carey were soliciting door-to-door Dec. 20 when they introduced themselves to the woman as representatives of United Family Circulation and requested donations for college.

The woman, who is nearly blind, agreed to donate $130 to each man and gave them two signed checks. She asked them to fill in the payee and amount because of her poor vision. Instead, the men each wrote out checks for $3,360, then mailed them to their employer, officials said.

The men used the money to purchase 210 one-year subscriptions to Disney Magazine for the woman, who discovered the fraud one month later on her bank statement. The Ventura County Sheriff's Department was contacted and deputies apprehended both men in Orange County, authorities said.

After being contacted by law enforcement, United Family Circulation agreed to refund the woman's money, authorities said. Company officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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