Six former employees of the defunct Logik Enterprises telemarketing firm have been indicted on fraud charges in U.S. District Court.
The six people were named in a 101-count fraud indictment accusing them of felony conspiracy and wire fraud, interim U.S. Attorney Denise E. O'Donnell said.
Charged were Anthony Colato, 38; Anthony DeLuca, 29; Maria Sebastian, 24; Eugene Armstead, 45; Salvatore Letizia, 22; and Jerome Cooper, 21. Authorities said the six are all from Buffalo, except for DeLuca, now living in Rhode Island.
"The defendants called people throughout the United States and falsely led them to believe they were going to receive a new car, $25,000 or another valuable bonus if they purchased merchandise from Logik," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc S. Gromis. "In addition to these people, several others, including the company founder and president, have already taken guilty pleas."
The company, which closed last year, had offices on Elmwood Avenue and on Colvin Avenue.
When reporters from The Buffalo News were working an a telemarketing fraud series in 1993, Logik Enterprises was the one local firm that threw open its doors, insisting it was not cheating customers and had nothing to hide.
But federal agents and prosecutors say the company was routinely defrauding customers, including many senior citizens.
Logik had an "unsatisfactory record" of customer service and often had been accused of misleading consumers and using high-pressure sales tactics, according to the Western New York Better Business Bureau.
If there was fraud in the company, at least some of the sales employees were unaware of it, said Thomas Eoannou, Colato's attorney.
"Speaking for my client, all he understood was that the sales pitch was approved by company attorneys, and the company told him everything they were doing was well within the law," Eoannou said.