OLATHE, Kan. – A Kansas City, Kansas, man was arrested this week as one of the leaders of a nationwide telemarketing scheme that targeted the elderly and raked in millions of dollars, according to federal officials.
The scam, according to a federal indictment released Wednesday, involved a magazine subscription scheme.
Telemarketers falsely claimed to work for magazines where the victims already had a subscription. They would promise victims they could reduce the price of their subscriptions.
Instead, the victims were signed up for new and more expensive subscriptions. The indictment said they were about 150,000 victims and some were duped into fake renewal services multiple times.
The indictment listed Russell Jason Rahm of Olathe as a “scheme leader.” Rahm was arrested Tuesday, along with 20 other defendants. The feds said the scam started 20 years ago. According to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, Rahm opened his telemarketing company Subscription Ink that same year.
On his website, Rahm is described as an “innovative entrepreneur” and “one of the leading providers of call center, data management and e-commerce services.”
On Wednesday, the lights were out and the doors locked at Rham’s sprawling office in a Shawnee strip mall, and no one answered the door at his Olathe home in the exclusive Cedar Creek subdivision.
Rham is one of 60 defendants listed in the indictment. If convicted, he could face as many as 30 years in prison on each of eight felony counts.