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Vasilios Recovers Easily From Arrests

On February 9, 2001, Postal Inspectors and other U.S. law enforcement agents arrested Denis Morin, a manager of a large Montreal-based telemarketing fraud operation, at Walt Disney World in Florida. In a coordinated series of actions, Canadian law enforcement authorities arrested 26 other people connected with the operation.

he room allegedly operated as a recovery room, in which callers falsely represented themselves as government officials, such as IRS and Customs employees and judges, as well as lawyers.

Morin has since been indicted in the District of Massachusetts on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The indictment alleges that the operation targeted principally senior citizens and other vulnerable members of society. One of the alleged boiler room managers arrested in Montreal, Vasilios Kolitsidas, is also a fugitive from a federal indictment in the Middle District of Florida.

Not Pronounced Like Decent

On January 17, 2001, a federal jury returned a verdict of guilty against Serges Jacques Descent on all counts of a 57-count indictment, charging him with conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957), and including the telemarketing fraud enhancement under 18 U.S.C. § 2326.5

According to the evidence at trial, in 1998 and 1999 Descent used bank accounts in St. Petersburg, Florida and Canada to channel funds from victims’ checks that were sent in response to calls from a lottery room, presumed to be in Canada.

Victims included 13 people in their 70s and 80s, and four of those victims were so frail that they could not travel to testify at trial and had their testimony taken by video deposition. Descent was scheduled for sentencing on July 20, 2001.

A second defendant, Vasilis Kolitsidas, was a fugitive in this case, but was arrested in Montreal in February, 2001 in connection with the Denis Morin arrest (see above).

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