The Competition Bureau announced today that criminal charges have been laid against five individuals and four Montreal-based companies, involved in the Bureau’s IT Data Direct case, a complex fraudulent telemarketing operation that generated over $172 million in gross sales.
The accused individuals, charged with deceptive telemarketing and misleading representations under the Competition Act, and fraud under the Criminal Code of Canada, are Georges Haligua, a Montreal-area businessman responsible for the complex telemarketing operation, and Amalia Di Falco, senior manager and partner. The other individuals charged are Éric Chenail, Carl Rubat-Du-Mérac, and Lawrence Vitas, senior managers of the companies. The four accused companies are Mega Byte Information Inc., Express Transaction Services Inc., International Business Logistics Inc., and Comexco Management Inc.
The Bureau’s investigation uncovered a widespread scheme that marketed directories, subscriptions to online directories, office supplies and medical kits at inflated prices. These products and services were promoted primarily to businesses across Canada, the United States, Europe and Central America.
“Fraudulent telemarketing is a serious crime that can have severe consequences for both businesses and consumers,” said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. “The Bureau continues to work with other law enforcement agencies to crack down on this and other types of fraudulent operations.”
The Bureau’s investigation was conducted as part of a joint initiative with the RCMP, through the COLT partnership (Centre of Operations Linked to Telemarketing Fraud). For additional information regarding the Bureau’s investigation, please see the Backgrounder.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.