A business that falsely promised customers up to $25,000 in pre-approved cash grants was shut down in March, according to a Federal Trade Commission announcement Monday.
Paul Navestad, Chintana Maspakorn and their five businesses, including Cash Grant Institute made 8 millions robocalls, including 2.7 million to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.
The calls directed customers to their websites, requestagrant.com and cashgrantsearch.com. After paying a fee customers were merely redirected to unaffiliated grant-related websites, the FTC said.
The parties were ordered by a federal court in western New York State to pay a total of $30 million in fines and $1.1 million in “ill-gotten gains,” in part for restitution. Navestad’s $20 million fine is the largest to an individual in FTC history.
Star Tribune Recommends
More From Whistleblower
The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.
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.