EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Florida man accused of orchestrating a credit-card telemarketing scam that defrauded more than $12-million from U.S. consumers says he's not-guilty.
Peter Porcelli II was arraigned today in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis on nine counts apiece of mail fraud and wire fraud.
He also faces a fraud-related conspiracy count.
He was freed on $1million unsecured bond.
Authorities say the scheme defrauded or tried to dupe at least 165,000 Americans, many of them with poor credit histories.
The indictment returned last month accuses Porcelli and others of offering consumers bogus Master-Card credit cards for a processing fee of $160 to $500. The schemers allegedly collected the fee from the bank accounts of tens of thousands of people.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)