MINNEAPOLIS – A Canadian man has been arrested and charged for his role in a $300 million telemarketing fraud scheme that targeted elderly and vulnerable victims, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, Abdou Diallo, also known as Abdou-Rahmane Diallo, 34, of Montreal, Quebec, was a co-owner and operator of Readers Services and NP Readers Inc., both Canadian-based companies that carried out a telemarking fraud scheme. From 2011 through 2020, Diallo and his co-conspirators provided “lead lists” and fraudulent sales scripts to their telemarketing employees for use in carrying out the fraud scheme. The scheme targeted people who had previously fallen victim to a fraudulent magazine sales scam and been tricked into signing up for multiple expensive magazine subscriptions they did not want and could not afford. Diallo and his co-conspirators took advantage of the victims’ desperation to make the magazine subscriptions stop. They called the victims pretending to be from the “magazine cancellation department.” Diallo and his co-conspirators offered to pay off the victims’ “outstanding balance” and cancel their existing magazine subscriptions in exchange for a large, lump-sum payment. None of this was true. In reality, the victims did not owe the defendants or their companies any money. Diallo and his co-conspirators had no power or ability to cancel the victims’ existing magazine subscriptions or any outstanding balance owed to any other magazine companies. This scheme ultimately defrauded more than 20,000 victims—many of whom were elderly and vulnerable—across the United States out of approximately $30 million.
Diallo was arrested on March 30, 2022, at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, and made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra in the Southern District of Florida. He will be transported in custody to the District of Minnesota for further court proceedings. Diallo is charged with one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud.
Another Canadian defendant, Saman Moghbel, 34, of Montreal, Quebec, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on February 28, 2022, before Chief U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim in Minneapolis. Moghbel’s sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Diallo is charged in connection to United States v. Timmerman et al., 20-cr-233. This indictment is related to United States v. Rahm, et al., 20-cr-232, United States v. Mathias et al., 20-cr-231, United States v. Dahl, 18-cr-305 and United States v. Oelrich, 20-cr-128. Over sixty defendants have been charged for their roles in a $300 million fraud scheme that targeted more than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable victims. To date, 37 defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the fraud scheme.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
Based on the evidence obtained in this investigation, authorities believe there may be additional victims of the alleged conduct. Report suspected fraudulent activity to MagazineVictims@FBI.GOV or visit FBI.gov/MagazineVictims.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph H. Thompson, Harry M. Jacobs, and Melinda A. Williams are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.