Two Montreal men are facing charges in Minnesota for allegedly participating in a telemarketing fraud scheme that defrauded more than 20,000 people out of $30 million.

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Justice revealed that Abdou Diallo, 34, was the co-owner of two Canadian companies involved in the scheme, Readers Services and NP Readers Inc.

“From 2011 to 2020, Diallo and his co-conspirators provided ‘lead lists’ and fraudulent sales scripts to their telemarketing employees for use in executing the fraudulent scheme,” the DOJ said. .

Victims of the scheme were reportedly called by people claiming to be from the magazine’s cancellation service to help them cancel their subscription in exchange for a large lump sum payment. The scheme targeted those who had previously fallen victim to similar scams and were tricked into purchasing expensive subscriptions that they could not afford.

Diallo faces a conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge and four counts of wire fraud. He will be flown to Minnesota after being arrested at Miami airport on March 30.

Co-conspirator Saman Moghnel, 34, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Feb. 28 in Minneapolis and is awaiting sentencing.

The two Montrealers are also linked to more than 60 cases of suspects who allegedly defrauded more than 150,000 of around $300 million, according to the DOJ.

The FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service received assistance from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office with the investigation.

Those who believe they have been victims of this scheme or a similar scam can contact authorities at [email protected] or visit the FBI website.