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NASCAR HARD LIQUOR ADS IN 2005 WILL COMPLY WITH DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL'S ADVERTISING CODE
NASCAR recently announced that distilled spirits products will be a new category for sponsorship in the sport beginning in the 2005 season. "We felt the time was right to allow distilled spirits companies into NASCAR." So said NASCAR president Mike Helton. "Attitudes have changed, and spirits companies have a long record of responsible advertising.
"Any spirits company involved in NASCAR will have marketing campaigns
strongly grounded in responsibility and will follow advertising and
marketing guidelines set by NASCAR that are consistent with the
Distilled Spirits Council's advertising code," he said.
(NASCAR Press Release, November 10, 2004.)
FDA CHIEF COUNSEL RESIGNS
Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Lester M. Crawford today issued the following statement on the departure of Chief Counsel Dan Troy:
Daniel E. Troy, Associate General Counsel/Chief Counsel of the Food &
Drug Division of the Department's Office of the General Counsel, has
resigned. Troy was FDA's senior legal advisor since his appointment
in August 2001. His resignation is effective November 28, 2004.
General Counsel Alex Azar named Jerry Masoudi, the current Deputy
Associate General Counsel of the Food and Drug Division, as Acting
Associate General Counsel/Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Division
of the Office of the General Counsel until a permanent replacement is
(Statement of Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Acting Commissioner of Food and
Drugs on the Resignation of Daniel E. Troy, November 16, 2004.)
FTC CHARGES DEBT NEGOTIATION COMPANY WITH DEFRAUDING DEBT-BURDENED CONSUMERS
An operation billing itself as a debt negotiation company
that promised to reduce consumers' debt, negotiate with creditors,
and stop harassment from debt collectors in exchange for various fees
instead pocketed the fees and plunged consumers deeper into debt,
according to FTC. FTC charged that Better Budget Financial Services
(BBFS) and its principals, John Colon, Jr. and Julie Fabrizio-Colon,
defrauded consumers out of hundreds or thousands of dollars each,
causing many to be sued by their creditors and forcing others into
FTC has asked the court to award consumer redress to the victims of
this alleged scam. On November 3, 2004, the court entered a temporary
restraining order halting defendants' allegedly illegal business
practices, freezing their assets, and appointing a temporary receiver
pending a preliminary injunction hearing.
According to FTC, BBFS has advertised its services through Internet
advertising and on its websites since at least August 2000.
Defendants' websites, www.betterbudget.net and www.termidebt.net,
claim that BBFS can negotiate with consumers' creditors to reduce
their debt by 50%. Consumers who contact the defendants are promised
that the defendants will negotiate with consumers' creditors for a
non-refundable retainer fee, monthly administrative fees of $29.95 to
$39.95, and 25% of any savings realized by a debt settlement.
According to FTC, consumers typically paid the defendants hundreds or
even thousands of dollars in fees.
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.
(FTC v. Better Budget Financial Services, Inc., John Colon, Jr., and
Julie Frabrizio-Colon, United States District Court, District of
Massachusetts, FTC File No.: 042 3140, Civ. No. 04-12326 (WG4),
November 15, 2004.)
CROSS-BORDER COPS CRACK DOWN ON BOGUS ADVANCE-FEE LOANS, ADVANCE-FEE CREDIT CARD SCHEMES
U.S. and Canadian law enforcers have joined forces to target an alleged scam that affects millions of consumers a year, bilking each of them out of hundreds of dollars or more, for loans they never get. According to FTC, the "loans" are promoted by Ontario-based telemarketers who target U.S. citizens by running ads in U.S. newspapers that they pay for with stolen or compromised credit cards.
The three-prong initiative, advanced by the Toronto Strategic
Partnership, a group of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and
Canada that shares information and collaborates to combat
cross-border fraud, involves law enforcement cooperation, an alert to
consumers, warning them about these scams, and an effort to enlist
newspapers across the country to check out questionable ads with law
enforcers before running them. FTC also announced an advance-fee
credit card case developed through work with the Partnership. Since
the Partnership was created in 2000, it has worked to bring 16 FTC
cases and over 380 Canadian criminal charges.
(FTC Release, November 16, 2004.)
ELECTRONIC PAYMENT PROCESSORS PAY $1.5 MILLION IN REDRESS
First American Payment Processing, Inc., two related corporations, and
their principals are banned from processing any payments for outbound
telemarketers as part of a settlement with FTC. FTC had charged
defendants with assisting fraudulent telemarketers by electronically
debiting consumers' bank accounts in violation of the Telemarketing
Sales Rule (TSR) and the FTC Act. The settlement bars defendants from
engaging in the types of practices alleged in the complaint and
requires them to pay redress in the amount of $1,580,739.
NOTE: This stipulated final order is for settlement purposes only and
does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation.
Stipulated final orders have the force of law when signed by the
(First American Payment Processing, Inc., et al., FTC File No. 032
3261, Civil Action No. CV 04-0074 PHX SRB, November 3, 2004.)
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