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5 metro Phoenix scammers get prison time for telemarketing scheme

(Unsplash Photo)

PHOENIX – The final defendant has been sentenced in a metro Phoenix telemarketing scheme that preyed upon elderly victims, authorities said.

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced 29-year-old Trevor Wesley Gabler of Phoenix to 4½ years in prison on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Gabler had pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud for managing a telemarketing scheme from office park sites in Phoenix and Tempe from 2015 to 2018.

He was the fifth person to plead guilty and be sentenced in the case.

Phoenix’s Brandon Trevor Ball, 47, who managed the scheme along with Gabler, received the longest prison sentence at five years.

Jackie Nikiel Whitley, 38, of Phoenix (2½ years), Brian Lee Gibson, 37, of Mesa (15 months) and Gordon Lynn Hardy, 57, of Chandler (time served of approximately one year) were the others sentenced in the case.

A judge also ordered the defendants to pay more than $4 million in restitution to 113 victims, most of whom were older than 65.

In October 2018, a federal grand jury returned a 24-count indictment against the five defendants for defrauding the victims out of more than $1 million.

Prosecutors said the phone scammers offered fake business opportunities in exchange for payments of more than $10,000.

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