A 61-year-old Friendswood man who pleaded guilty to running a pay phone scam bilking more than $2.4 million was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake sentenced David Grudzinski to 18 months in federal prison. Lake called it a sophisticated fraud, but took into consideration Grudzinski's lack of criminal history in the sentencing, U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Texas spokeswoman Angela Dodge said.
After the prison term, Grudzinski will serve three years of supervised release, Dodge said.
Grudzinski admitted to running an elaborate scam using 450 pay phones he owned and operated in the Houston area, including Friendswood and League City, to defraud federal and state agencies, as well as some private entities, out of more than $2.4 million between 2005 and 2015, Dodge said.
Using specialized software, Grudzinski caused his phones to robotically dial toll-free telephone numbers of various federal and state government agencies and some private entities, she said. With the software, Grudzinski fraudulently got about 49 cents for each call made between 2005 and July 2015, she said.
He collected more than $2.4 million during that time, she said.
The Daily News previously reported that multiple federal and local agencies executed a search warrant in 2015 on his Friendswood home. Grudzinski was later charged with four counts of mail and wire fraud and two counts of monetary transactions in criminally derived property, federal court records show.
Grudzinski was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined soon, Dodge said.