An Oregon man was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday for his role in a commercial collection scam that bilked nearly $6 million from 680 victims.
Neil W. Madison Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy charges last December.
The government accused Madison of owning three illegal collection agencies in Portland, Ore. and Orange County, Calif., between 2001 and 2009.
"Madison and his employees promised prospective clients that for a 25% fee, they would collect business debts owed by debtor companies," prosecutors wrote in a news release. "As part of the marketing strategy, Madison created and distributed brochures, mailers and other promotional material that was full of lies, false promises and misleading information."
Madison's employees threatened debtors by phone, email and letters. But nearly all of the money collected went to Madison to support what the government described as a "lavish lifestyle" that included a Porsche and a 32-foot boat.
Prosecutors described the operations as "boiler rooms" with up to 20 employees working phones to hook potential customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Madison is scheduled to appear in Portland's U.S. District Court in July for a hearing to determine how much restitution he must pay. Judge Robert E. Jones ordered him to report to federal prison in September 2012.