KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Kansas, man was among 60 people charged Wednesday in federal court for their alleged roles in a $300 million nationwide telemarketing scheme that targeted elderly and vulnerable victims.
Russell Jason Rahm, 50, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and violating the SCAMS Act. Rahm is the owner and CEO of several Kansas-based companies involved in fraudulent magazine sales, according to Erica H. MacDonald, U.S. attorney in Minnesota.
Rahm and dozens of others allegedly used fraudulent renewal sales scripts to defraud more than 125,000 people over the last 20 years. The fraudulent companies claimed to offer existing magazine subscribers a chance to lower the cost of their subscriptions.
Other defendants identified in the scheme came from 14 states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces, according to MacDonald.
“This case represents the largest elder fraud scheme in the nation. More than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable victims across the United States have been identified in what is essentially a criminal class action,” MacDonald said in a news release. “Unfortunately, we live in a world where fraudsters are willing to take advantage of seniors, who are often trusting and polite. It’s my hope that this prosecution is a call for vigilance and caution.”
Authorities believe there may still be other unidentified victims of the alleged conspiracy. To report suspected fraudulent activity, visit FBI.gov/magazinevictims.