Note:This website is where you can find advertising law information based on archived news briefs from past issues of Advertising Compliance Service. These archived advertising law-related news briefs were published in Advertising Compliance Service in July 2002.
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FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL ENFORCERS TARGET ALLEGED CYBERSCAMS
to Advertise FTC asked a U.S. district court judge to shut down an operation that used spam and Internet Web sites to advertise an envelope stuffing work-at-home "opportunity." According to FTC, in exchange for $40, the defendants promised to provide consumers with sales letters and pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes and consumers would earn two dollars for every envelope they stuffed. Consumers who sent their money didn't get envelopes. If they received anything - and many didn't - they got materials urging them to solicit self-addressed envelopes from third parties and forward them to the defendants. FTC told the court that the "Stuffing for Cash" defendants likely cheated tens of thousands of consumers out of over $2 million in the last year. At FTC's request, a U.S. district court judge barred defendants from engaging in further deceptive practices and froze their assets, pending trial. The Commission votes to file the complaint and the stipulated final judgment and order were 5-0. The Stuffing-for-Cash complaint was filed in U S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Chicago, with the assistance of the Chicago office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court. NOTE: A consent judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent judgments have the force of law when signed by the judge. (FTC Release, July 30, 2002; Stuffingforcash.com Corp., FTC File No. P024408, Civil Action No. 02 C 5022 (N.D. Ill), July 30, 2002.)
JUDGE ORDERS DEFENDANTS TO PAY OVER $16.5 MILLION IN REDRESS
From Advertising In addition to ordering the defendants to pay restitution to consumers and disgorge ill-gotten gains, the Court permanently barred the defendants from the promotion, advertising, marketing, sale, or offering for sale of any medical billing work-at-home opportunity. The Court's order also bars defendants from engaging in, or assisting others in engaging in, deceptive acts or practices in the business of telemarketing. The order further enjoins the defendants from making, or assisting others in making, any false or misleading oral or written statement or representation in connection with the promotion, advertising, marketing, sale, or offering for sale of any work-at-home opportunity, product, service, or investment. (Medicor LLC, Andrew Rubin, and Matthew Rubin, FTC File No. 002 3356, Civil Action No. CV 01-1896 CBM (Ex), July 31, 2002.)
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