The Commission has approved the filing of a joint brief with the United States, as amici curiae, in the matter of James E. Ryan, Attorney General of Illinois v. Telemarketing Associates (Ryan v. Telemarketing Associates, U.S. S. Ct. cert granted November 4, 2002.). The case, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, involves an attempt by the state of Illinois to prosecute a fundraiser for fraud where the fundraiser claimed to have received money for a charity, but kept 85 to 90 percent of the money for itself. The Supreme Court is reviewing a decision of the Illinois State Supreme Court, which dismissed Illinois' complaint against the fundraiser. The Commission vote authorizing staff to join in filing the amicus brief was 4-0, with Commissioner Sheila Anthony not participating. (FTC File No. P859907; staff contact is Lawrence DeMille-Wagman, FTC Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2448.)
The Commission has authorized staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against National Audit Defense Network (NADN); Tax Coach, Inc., doing business as Tax Ready; Robert Bennington; Cort Christie; and Al Rodrigues. The complaint in this matter alleged that the defendants violated the FTC Act and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by their failure to provide refunds as promised or in a timely manner to purchasers of their tax assistance programs and services. Through this action, the FTC will add two defendants, Weston J. Coolidge and Oryan Management, Inc., to the original complaint. The Commission vote authorizing staff to amend the complaint was 5-0. (FTC File No. X020016; staff contacts are Janice L. Charter and Jerry Steiner, FTC Western Region, 415-848-5100; see press release dated February 5, 2002.)
The Commission, by a vote of 5-0, has finalized the interim rules (as amended) that became effective February 1, 2001 relating to the statutory changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act). The final rules retain the notification thresholds introduced in the interim rules, but include some small changes to clarify their use. The final rules also correct a drafting error in the rule related to requests for additional information or documentary material. The Statement of Basis and Purpose accompanying the final rules addresses public comments received on the interim rules. The final rules will be effective upon their publication in the Federal Register. (FTC File No. P989316; staff contact is Karen E. Berg, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2960; see press release dated January 25, 2001).