2 men arrested in Los Angeles and NYC in scheme involving unsolicited cellphone text messages

Industries Associated Press

Two cellphone industry executives have been charged with making millions of dollars illegally by duping customers into paying for text messages about horoscopes, celebrity gossip and trivia.

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Darcy Wedd was arrested Monday in New York City while Erdolo Eromo was arrested in Los Angeles. The arrests are part of a crackdown on a ruse in which authorities say millions of dollars in revenues were created from 2011 to 2013 by subjecting cellphone customers to unsolicited, recurring text messages.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says the men conspired to coerce hundreds of thousands of mobile phone customers into paying for trivial messages.

Attorney Michael Proctor, who represents Eromo, says they are disappointed that the government brought charges and they plan to fight them in court.

A lawyer for Wedd had no immediate comment.