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Telemarketer Execs Heading to Prison

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Two former telemarketing company executives each have been ordered to spend five years in federal prison for their roles in selling $40 million in bogus auto-service warranties.

A federal judge in East St. Louis also ordered 50-year-old Christopher Cowart of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and 46-year-old Cris Sagnelli of Boca Raton, Fla., to pay $15,000 in fines.

The two men pleaded guilty in December 2010 to a felony count of using a fictitious name as part of a mail-fraud scheme they carried out while doing business as Transcontinental Warranty Inc.

Authorities say the scheme involved sales of more than 15,000 questioned warranty contracts.

Cowart served as Transcontinental Warranty’s president, while Sagnelli was the vice president.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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