- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida woman has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for operating fraudulent call centers that targeted thousands of Spanish-speaking people.

The sentence was imposed this week on 52-year-old Maria Luzula, who pleaded guilty in October to 27 federal charges. Prosecutors say Luzula ran a Florida-based company that had call centers in Peru.

The victims would be falsely told they owed debts because they had accepted delivery of products when they had not. They were threatened with lawsuits and fines unless they immediately paid a so-called settlement fee.

Luzula’s 25-year-old son went to trial and was convicted by a jury on similar fraud and extortion. His sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 25.


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