Man sentenced for phone-billing fraud

Saturday, January 26, 2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The former president of a Kansas City telecommunications firm has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for defrauding customers out of more than $7 million.

Troy P. Campbell Sr., 59, will not be eligible for parole from the sentence imposed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner. He also must spend three years under supervised release after he gets out of prison, the court ordered.

Campbell had pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for falsifying billing statements issued by his defunct company, North American Communications Group. Under terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed 32 counts of wire fraud at the sentencing.

North American and a series of related companies provided telephone systems to public facilities, including the Jackson County Jail, Kansas City International Airport; the Shelby County Jail and Penal Farm in Memphis, Tenn.; the Summit County Jail in Akron, Ohio; and the Metropolitan Regional Transportation Authority in Atlanta.

People at those locations could place collect calls that would be billed to other individuals, according to the indictment.

Campbell admitted in his guilty plea to charging customers for collect calls that were either longer than the calls that were actually placed or for calls that were not placed at all. Part of the scheme involved directing an individual to create computer software programs that generated false billing data, U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said in a release.

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