Three plead guilty in Florida toilet paper fraud

MIAMI,  (Reuters) – Florida scam artists told elderly  victims the government had changed the laws regulating toilet  paper and that their septic tanks would be ruined unless they  bought specially formulated rolls, court documents said.
“Through this scheme, some elderly customers were defrauded  into purchasing more than 70 years worth of toilet paper,”  federal prosecutors in Miami said in a news release.
Three defendants pleaded guilty this week to charges of  conspiring to commit wire fraud, part of what prosecutors said  was a $1 million scheme to sell unnecessary septic tank  products.
Mary Moore, Joseph Nouerand and Christopher Lincoln, all  residents of Palm Beach County, were sales representatives for  FBK Products LLC. They could face up to 20 years in prison at a  sentencing set for Feb. 10, but are likely to get shorter terms  in exchange for helping prosecute three other alleged  co-conspirators.
They admitted that in phone calls targeting elderly people  with septic tanks, they falsely claimed their company was the  only one licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency to  sell a $199 “Septic Remedy” that would eliminate septic sludge  and make it unnecessary to pump out the tanks.
Those who bought the product were placed on an “idiot list”  for follow-up sales, court documents said.
Later, they were falsely told the laws regulating toilet  paper, soap and detergent formulas had changed and that they  needed to buy a new version of the septic tank treatment, as  well as special toilet paper, court documents said.
If they did not, they were told, their septic tanks would  not pass federal inspection and they would have to spend  “beaucoup thousands to get the system up to standard.”
In fact, the EPA does not license septic tank treatments or  regulate septic tank products, prosecutors noted.
At least 15 people from around the United States fell  victim to the fraud, court documents said.
The case is No 9:11-cr-80172-KLR.

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