Two Men Charged with Ripping Off Mobile Phone Customers

NEW YORK (AP) - Two cell phone 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.

Darcy Wedd was arrested in Manhattan while Erdolo Eromo was arrested in Los Angeles. The arrests occurred in a crackdown on a ruse whereby authorities say millions of dollars in revenues were created from 2011 to 2013 by subjecting cell phone customers to unsolicited, recurring text messages.

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

Attorney Michael Proctor said on Eromo's behalf that they were disappointed that the government brought charges and they planned to fight in court.

A lawyer for Wedd did not immediately comment.