“Free Grant Money” scheme shut down by feds
- Blog Post by: Jane Friedmann
- April 3, 2012 - 11:13 AM
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.
© 2016 Star Tribune