On November 23, 1998, U.S. District Judge Linda H. McLaughlin in Santa Ana, California, sentenced Lonny Remmers, a defendant in a case stemming from the Federal Trade Commission's "Project Scofflaw," to 46 months in jail and three years supervised release. In sentencing Remmers, the court found he had caused consumer losses in excess of $4.5 million. Remmers pled guilty on September 14, 1998, to a criminal contempt charge for violation of an FTC order that required him to obtain a $150,000 performance bond before engaging in telemarketing.
"The Commission is pleased with the Remmers sentence," said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "It's clear that the 'Project Scofflaw' initiative -- the Commission's comprehensive effort to enforce federal district court orders -- is protecting consumers from fraud and prosecuting recidivists."
The government's charges against Remmers stemmed from a May 1995 case in which the FTC alleged that Remmers violated federal laws in the course of telemarketing bogus investments involving Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) television programming. The FTC alleged that Remmers, through his two companies, PAL Financial Services, Inc. and Media Management, Inc., engaged in fraudulent tactics to pitch consumer investments in a plan to market and distribute DBS television programming in certain areas of Georgia. In January 1996, a federal court issued a final order against Remmers and PAL Financial Services, prohibiting them from misrepresenting the risk and potential profitability of any investments and requiring Remmers, for 10 years, to obtain a $150,000 performance bond before engaging in future telemarketing activities.
In charges filed in January 1998, the government alleged that between January 19, 1996, and April 30, 1996, Remmers violated the court order by operating a fraudulent investment telemarketing scam under a new name -- Dimension Capital Group.
The Remmers case was filed by the Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation, with an FTC attorney appointed to assist in the prosecution.
Copies of the court documents and today's news release, as well as other news releases and legal documents filed in the Satellite Broadcasting, Lonny Remmers and PAL Financial Services cases are available from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
( Remmers -- Case No. SACR 98-4-LHM)