Individual pleads guilty to charges for fraudulent and misleading telemarketing calls

OTTAWA, December 4, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that an individual has pleaded guilty to nine counts of deceptive telemarketing under the Competition Act and two counts of fraud under the Criminal Code. Gilles Tremblay, 72, was sentenced to nine months of imprisonment to be served in the community and to 12 months probation.

In August 2006, a Bureau investigation, conducted in partnership with the Centre of Operations Linked to Telemarketing Fraud (COLT) found that two telemarketing operations in Montreal were using questionable tactics. One, using names such as "Advance Financial" and "Consumer Benefit", promoted government grants to American citizens. The other, using the names "Global Electronic Solutions/Solutions Électroniques Global" and "Federal Emergency Medical Supply/Agence Federal des Produits Medicales [sic]", promoted the sale of office supplies and medical kits to Canadian and American businesses. The operations were shut down following a search of the operations’ premises in December 2006. The combined revenue of the two operations was estimated at $840,000.

Gilles Tremblay contributed to this scheme with an investment of between $50,000 and $75,000 and was involved in the financial management of the telemarketing activities related to promoting office supplies and medical kits.

In December 2012, five individuals, including Gilles Tremblay, were charged under the Criminal Code with defrauding the public in excess of $5,000. They were also charged under the Competition Act with deceptive telemarketing and making false or misleading representations to the public during telemarketing calls.

The Bureau’s investigation determined that some of the alleged tactics used during the telemarketing calls included implying that the caller represented a business that had an existing relationship with the victim’s company, indicating that certain products or services were required under government rules, or implying that the call was being made on behalf of a government agency.

Consumers who suspect that they have been victims of deceptive telemarketing are encouraged to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or the Competition Bureau at 1-800-348-5358.

COLT is a joint forces operation involving the Competition Bureau, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Department of Homeland Security (Immigration & Customs Enforcement), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Secret Service. COLT also works closely with Canada Post, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.


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