Apparently pay-phone owners make money when certain toll-free numbers are called. So this guy programmed his phones to repeatedly call the numbers. Similar to robo-clicking on blog sites, only a little more direct. And more lucrative. Pay phones are a dying business, but Mr. Kantartzis seems to have found a way to revive them. Temporarily.
From the Associated Press, via the Daily Record:
Nicolaos Kantartzis pleaded guilty in September to using more than 100 pay phones to make phantom calls to toll-free numbers, some 8 million calls in all. Because the calls are free to legitimate users, the party getting the call must pay costs that include a cut for the pay phone operator. As a result, Kantartzis was paid each time his phones rang the numbers, even though most calls lasted only a few seconds.