On July 23, 2014, Fawaz Sebai, Vassilios Klouvatos, and Lefkothea Klouvatos were named in an eight-count indictment for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349, 1343, and 1341, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. If convicted, the defendants are each subject to a term of imprisonment of up to 25 years, a fine of $250,000 and five years of supervised release.
The charge arose out of a telemarketing scam which operated in Quebec, Canada. The indictment alleges that the scheme bilked over 5,000 victims of approximately 1 million dollars. Consumers were victimized in all fifty states. There were at least seven (7) victims in the thirty-eight (38) counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois. The indictment alleges that the scheme began on or about September 2012 and continued until on or about July 25, 2013.
The indictment alleges that the defendants Fawaz Sebai and Vassilios Klouvatos owned and operated a telemarketing business located in Quebec Canada called AFD Medical Advisors (AFD) or Clinacall, which purportedly sold prescription drug discount cards. Lefkothea Klouvatos managed the call center for this telemarketing business. The indictment alleges that the company falsely represented to elderly and infirm victims that they would receive discounts of up to 75% off the prices they were currently paying for their prescription drugs. Victims paid a one-time fee of about $299 for this program The telemarketers obtained the victims bank routing and checking numbers in order to withdraw the fees via demand drafts, also known as remotely created checks. The funds were then wire transferred to intermediate accounts in the United States and later transferred to Canadian bank accounts that were controlled by the defendants.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.