Las Vegas Sun

February 20, 2024

Man, 25, sentenced in scam of elderly

CARSON CITY -- District Judge Sally Loehrer Tuesday sentenced Darin Notaro, 25, to one year in jail for his part in a Las Vegas telemarketing scheme that bilked elderly citizens across the nation out of at least $234,000.

Notaro, who was also ordered to make $12,230 in restitution, is one of six men charged in connection with their work for Century Pacific Group, a boiler room that telephoned elderly people and told them they won valuable sweepstakes prizes, but they had to pay $699 to get the prize.

Deputy Attorney General Grenville Pridham said one New Jersey man was told he won $10,000 and a new car but had to send $699. An 82-year-old Georgia woman was told she had won enough to pay all her bills but first had to send the money. A salesman told a 77-year-old New York man he had won an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas.

All of the victims, Pridham said, were from out of state. And there were no prizes.

After the people sent in their money, Pridham said, they received a package from Century Pacific Group that contained a list of companies that offered prize promotions of some kind and envelopes to send in their name to be entered in the promotions. They also received an inexpensive camera and coupons to buy film, with the total package worth about $40.

The offices of Century Pacific Group at 6985 W. Sahara Ave. were raided by the FBI and investigators for the attorney general's office in August 1998. At the time of his arrest, Notaro was on probation for conviction of six federal felony counts of telemarketing fraud by wire. For those 1995 offenses, he was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution, fined $3,100 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Notaro, who pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit unregistered telemarketing, maintained he was only a runner for the business. Loehrer said she doubted his story based on his prior convictions.

Notaro must surrender by Sept. 8 to begin serving his sentence in the Clark County Detention Center.

Company President James E. Smith, 26, and Jeffrey S. Klingenberg, 28, are to be sentenced on Aug. 31 by Loehrer.

Randy Gregg, who pleaded to a misdemeanor count, is to be sentenced Aug. 26. Thomas O'Donnell is set for sentencing Sept. 28 on his guilty plea to a gross misdemeanor.

Pridham said Brian Crawford, 46, failed to show up for his arraignment and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. He said anybody who knows the location of Crawford should call the attorney general's office.