A Toronto company has been hit with a record $15-million fine for running a business directory scam.
DataCom Marketing Inc. targeted thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada and the U.S. between 1994 and 2005.
They were tricked into believing they had ordered a business directory listing and told to pay for the service.
The Competition Bureau said DataCom Marketing generated $12.9 million in profits.
The founder and former president of DataCom, Bernard Fromstein, was previously sentenced to two years in jail, three years probation and a 10-year ban on telemarketing activities.
Another senior manager, Paul Barnard, received a two-year conditional sentence.
In his decision, Justice Ian Nordheimer of the Ontario Superior Court wrote that this sort of activity "must be deterred."
"It has impacts not only for businesses in this country but also for Canada’s international business reputation."
"We applaud the court’s decision," said Melanie Aitken, the commissioner of competition at the bureau.
"This is a clear signal to fraudulent telemarketers that their acts will be treated seriously by the courts."