Business opportunity scam shut down
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached settlements with a handful of companies and individuals that bans them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities. The parties are also required to surrender assets to the FTC.
As part of its crackdown on scams that falsely promise business opportunities targeting unemployed or underemployed people, the FTC filed a complaint against Shopper Systems LLC, Revenue Works LLC (also doing business as Surplus Supplier), EMZ Ventures LLC, The Veracity Group LP, Brett Brosseau, Michael Moysich and Keith R. Powell.
The complaint charged the defendants with misleading consumers who were seeking to run their own business providing mystery shopping services to retailers, and tricking them into paying money to join programs with recurring monthly charges.
Along with the settlement, a federal court has approved the filing of an amended complaint adding Concept Rocket LLC and Shopper Select LLC as defendants, and Georgia Farm House Land Holdings LLC, PKP Holdings, Stephanie Powell, and Sportsmen of North America LP as relief defendants who profited from the scheme but did not participate in it.
The settlement order against Moysich, Concept Rocket, Revenue Works, Shopper Select and Shopper Systems, bans them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities, sending unauthorized text messages, and selling products or services with negative-option features. The settlement order against Brosseau and EMZ Ventures bans them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities and sending unauthorized text messages.
The orders also impose a judgment of more than $40.5 million against these defendants, which will be suspended when the Moysich defendants have surrendered $55,000 in frozen assets, and the Brosseau defendants have surrendered $88,000 in frozen assets and nearly $270,000 from the sale of property in Georgia, Vermont.
The settlement order against Powell and The Veracity Group bans them from selling business or work-at-home opportunities. It also imposes a judgment of more than $14.8 million, which will be suspended when Powell has surrendered his assets, including more than $115,000, to the FTC, and the Veracity Group has surrendered telecommunication equipment to a court-appointed receiver for liquidation.
As stipulated in all three orders, the full monetary judgments will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their respective financial conditions.
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