“Classic pyramid scheme” halted
An Illinois judge has frozen the assets of alleged operators of a pyramid scheme that pulled in more than 100,000 people in the United States and Canada, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday.
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, a Kentucky business, claimed participants could “achieve financial independence” by selling security systems, satellite-TV and cell-phone service and other products and services.
But very little product was sold and “the vast majority of people ... lost their money,” the FTC said. Participants paid a $100-$300 annual fee, a $130-$400 monthly fee and automatic monthly charges for products.
Seven businesses and individuals associate with FHTM have been civilly charged in the scheme. FHTM said it will defend itself and expects to be vindicated, the Associated Press reported.
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A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
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