January 12, 1998 in Nation/World

Mob Allegedly Steals Millions In Pre-Paid Phone Card Scam

Compiled From Wire Services
 

Mobsters are reportedly plundering millions of dollars by stealing from communication giants with pre-paid phone card scams.

A typical method features a phone card company contracting with a long-distance provider, selling thousands of cards and then not paying the company. WorldCom, the nation’s No. 4 long-distance carrier, lost $94 million in 1996 that way, the Daily News reported Sunday, citing legal documents and anonymous sources.

Communication’s Network Corp., known as Conetco, an alleged front for the Gambino crime family, was the company that scammed WorldCom, the paper said. John Gotti Jr., the reputed head of the Gambino crime family while his father serves a sentence of life in prison, was helping to run Conetco, according to the report.

Gotti lawyer Richard Rehbock said investigators have interfered with Gotti’s legitimate business pursuits and claimed that Gotti lost money because they seized 13,000 phone cards.

Federal grand juries are investigating the alleged phone card thievery.


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