FBI: Fake secret discounts used to bilk company of $700,000

Tribune reporter

The owner of a Schaumburg business has been charged with defrauding a company of more than $700,000 in a scheme in which he claimed to be saving his client more than $1.7 million in cell phone costs, the FBI announced today.

A federal wire fraud complaint against George Tindall, 60, was unsealed Monday following Tindall's appearance before U.S.  Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan, according to a press release from the Chicago office of the FBI.

A company owned by Tindall, Carrier Cost Management, Inc., signed a contract in June 2011 with a Northbrook company, promising to save money and giving Tindall a 40 percent commission for savings on cell phone costs, according to the FBI.

Tindall, of Elk Grove Village, told those at the company that he had negotiated with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile to get discounts for keeping large customers, according to the criminal complaint against him. The company paid him more than $716,000, and Tindall fabricated numerous emails supposedly from the cell phone carriers that were written to make it seem as though Tindall had negotiated secret discounts from the carriers, according to the complaint.

But Tindall accidentally used Verizon's name in a fake email supposedly from AT&T. When people at the Northbrook company realized it wasn't getting discounts and started investigating, Tindall tried to make it seem as though discounts were being paid by paying part of the company's AT&T bill, according to the complaint.

A search of Tindall's company email by the FBI after it obtained a search warrant showed that Tindall had been working with other companies, also sending invoices to them for supposed secret discounts with the same carriers, according to the complaint.

Tindall was released pending a court appearance Thursday, according to the release from the FBI.

lford@tribune.com | Twitter: @ltaford


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