LOS ANGELES : 3 Sentenced to Prison for Telephone Fraud

Three men were sentenced to federal prison this week for their role in a Culver City-based telemarketing "boiler room" scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims throughout the country of more than $2.4 million.

The case represents the first local prosecution and sentencing from "Operation Disconnect," a coordinated FBI operation in 13 states in which more than 240 people were arrested, according to U.S. Atty. Nora M. Manella.

Altaf Almani of Playa del Rey, the president of the company involved in the fraud, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years probation. Two other defendants were sentenced to 51 months and 27 months, respectively.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Bart H. Williams said the defendants obtained money by leading victims to believe they had won expensive bonuses and gifts as part of the company's promotional campaign.

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