Nicolaos Kantartzis to be sentenced in $4M pay phone scam

WASHINGTON (AP) - A man who rang up $4 million for himself by rigging Washington-area pay phones he owned to robotically dial toll-free numbers so he could collect a 50-cent fee is scheduled to be sentenced.

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.

Kantartzis is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. His attorney has said his client repaid the money he earned from the scheme.