Georgia woman pleads guilty to mail fraud in telemarketing scheme

MINNEAPOLIS — A Georgia woman pleaded guilty for her role in a $300 million telemarketing scheme that targeted elderly victims nationwide, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

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According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, Rita Antoinette Albritton, 59, of Stockbridge, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Prosecutors said that Albritton, who worked as a telemarketer for Georgia-baed World Wide Publication, knowingly conspired with others to devise a telemarketing scheme “that victimized numerous individuals across the United States, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable.”

Prosecutors said that the company, owned by co-defendant Ronald Coleman, used fraudulent sales scripts to induce customers to make large or repeated payments. According to the news release, Albritton falsely claimed that the victims had large outstanding balances for existing magazine subscriptions, and fraudulently offered to pay off their balances in exchange for a one-time payment of $199.99.

During her role as a telemarketer, Albritton occasionally used the alias of “Cynthia Alvarez.”

The consumers did not have any existing subscriptions with World Wide Publication and did not owe any outstanding balances, prosecutors said. The company also did not have the ability to cancel the alleged subscriptions.

Prosecutors said that Albritton, Coleman and their co-conspirators defrauded thousands of victims out of approximately $1,749.959.

Albritton will be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2004.

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