Prisoner Who Ran Scam From Florida Jail Sentenced To 21 Years In Federal Prison; Willoughby Farr of West Palm Beach Operated ‘Cramming’ Scheme

Willoughby Farr

A Florida man who operated a long-distance billing scam from the West Palm Beach County Jail has been sentenced to 262 months in federal prison.

Willoughby Farr, 46, used three Palm Beach companies to pull off the “cramming” scam in which consumers were billed for calls they did not make, prosecutors said. He also faces a $34.5 million judgment in a successful civil lawsuit filed by the FTC, which referred the case to the Justice Department. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service then conducted a criminal investigation that led to the prosecution of Farr on mail-fraud charges.

“When the unscrupulous and the dishonest line their pockets with consumers’ hard-earned money, we will hold them accountable,” said Tony West, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. “As this sentence demonstrates, the Justice Department has put a priority on protecting the public from fraudulent schemes. This case should also remind consumers to carefully review their telephone bills for unauthorized charges.”

A top postal inspector said consumers need to be aware that fraudsters want their money.

“Crammers like Farr are eager to post bogus charges to consumers’ accounts,” said Henry Gutierrez, inspector in charge. “The Postal Inspection Service will work tirelessly with its law enforcement partners to deter fraudulent use of the mails and to protect the American consumer.”

Wifredo A. Ferrer, South Florida’s top federal prosecutor, said postal inspectors did a “superb job” of reverse-engineering the scheme.

“[This] case demonstrates the effectiveness of cooperative law enforcement efforts, which can put an end to fraudulent schemes, and then bring wrongdoers to justice,” Ferrer said, giving a nod to both postal inspectors and the FTC.

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