A Toledo business that offers prepaid cellular phone service in 25 states is about to get a lot bigger.
The president of Page Plus Cellular, headquartered on Reynolds Road, said it will start Monday building a 30,000-square-foot office on Timberwolf Drive in Springfield Township for 110 employees and about 200 others it will hire.
The project, estimated at $5 million, will create enough space for a national call center, to which subscribers seeking phone activation will call. The firm gets 10,000 calls a day.
"We chose to stay in the Toledo area because we want to pay back Toledo," said Abdul Yassine, president of Page Plus and a native of Lebanon.
The company was started in 1993 by Mr. Yassine and three of his brothers to offer pagers, but customers' declining interest in paging led them to get into the cellular business.
It has offered prepaid cell phone service since 1998. Its phones, sold in 25 states and with 1 million subscribers, can be found in such locations as convenience stores, gas stations, dollar stores, check-cashing shops, and wireless stores.
In the new call center, to be completed by August, 70 percent of the planned jobs will be full-time, with starting wages of $10 an hour, plus benefits, he said. The firm, at 2035 S. Reynolds Rd. as Page Plus Communications, plan to hire call center operators, information technology specialists, and marketing and financing executives.
The company has been in the news before.
Mr. Yassine and his brother, Mohamad, were sentenced to probation last year in U.S. District Court in Toledo after entering into a plea agreement for violating bank currency reporting laws because of the method in which they deposited money into bank branches.
They were accused of depositing between $11,000 and $48,000 into different bank branches on 121 different days during a 2 1/2-year period.
Federal law requires currency reports on deposits in excess of $10,000, but that was not followed.
The plea agreement called for the firm to forfeit the $3 million that was wrongly deposited during the period.
Mr. Yassine said those issues are in the past, and he declined further comment.
Contact Mary-Beth McLaughlin at