Two members of a $2.1 million Riverside County-based telemarketing scam were sentenced in absentia Monday in Los Angeles to 108 months in federal prison for their roles in a scheme that defrauded more than 4,000 job seekers by tricking them into paying fees in exchange for employment opportunities that turned out to be nonexistent.
Lisa Kay Camp, 61, and Barry Lee Biddle, 48, both formerly of Lake Elsinore, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who also ordered them to pay over $2.18 million in restitution to their victims, which they must pay jointly and severally with three previously sentenced co-conspirators, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Camp and Biddle pleaded guilty in September 2019 and October 2019, respectively, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They fled together from pretrial supervision in August 2020 before their sentencing hearings, which were originally scheduled for October 2020. They remain at large.
From May 2009 to July 2013, Camp, with the help of Biddle and her adult children, operated a fraudulent telemarketing business that went by various fictitious names, including Contractor Management, Commercial Crews, US Tradepros, and IPower Marketing. The defendants used auto-dialer services and multiple websites to lure prospective job seekers to pay for background checks that were never performed and to receive job leads that never existed, prosecutors said.
Camp controlled nearly two dozen bank accounts in various company names to make the operation appear legitimate. Biddle set up, maintained, and operated the computer workstations, phone network, and websites used by the fraudulent telemarketing business, according to prosecutors.
The total amount of loss to job seekers over the four-year period of the scheme was about $2.18 million with at least 4,183 victims defrauded, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Three other defendants — all of whom are children of Camp — have been sentenced after each pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
— Andrea Maureen Aviles, 41, of Lake Elsinore, who was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison;
— Gerald James Camp, 42, of Lake Elsinore, who was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison; and
— Allisa Lynn Vasquez, 39, of Sun City, who was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.