Montana man accused of tacking $70M onto phone bills now faces criminal charges

A Montana man accused of adding tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges to phone bills nationwide is now facing criminal charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

The indictment against Steven Sann was unsealed Wednesday during a settlement conference in a civil lawsuit previously filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC sued Sann, his wife, son and accountant over $70 million in unauthorized charges.

Federal prosecutors have now charged Sann with 35 criminal counts. They say he concealed his role in multiple companies that sold a voicemail and fax service called ConnectMe Voice.

He is accused of falsely reporting the companies received no customer complaints so that billing aggregators would continue to add the phone charges.

Sann's attorney did not immediately return a call Thursday.