UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION,

Plaintiff,

v.

THE DEAN THOMAS CORPORATION, INC., a corporation, and THE GAME CLUB, INC., a corporation, and PROFESSIONAL PUBLISHERS, INC.,a corporation, and THOMAS PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., a corporation, and PREFERRED PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., DEAN R. THOMAS, and RANDY B. LONIS, and RAYMOND CELIE, individually and as officers of said corporations, and MICHAEL BRANT, individually,

Defendants.

CIVIL NO. 1:97CV 0129

JUDGE WILLIAM C. LEE

U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
ROGER B. COSBEY

Stipulated Final Judgment
as to Defendant Michael Brant

Plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), filed its complaint pursuant to section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), 15 U.S.C. 53(b), charging defendants with violations of section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a). On April 8, 1997, this Court granted the FTC's motion for a temporary restraining order with asset freeze, appointment of a temporary receiver and other equitable relief, and ordered defendants to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not issue against them. The parties subsequently agreed to entry of a stipulated preliminary injunction, which this Court granted on April 23, 1997.

On October 31, 1997, plaintiff FTC moved the Court to issue an order to show cause why defendant Dean R. Thomas and one of his employees — Michael Brant — should not be held in contempt of the Preliminary Injunction for their activities in the operations of Preferred Publishing Company, Inc., which was incorporated after the entry of the Preliminary Injunction. On November 6, 1997, this Court issued an Order for Dean R. Thomas and Michael Brant to show cause why they are not in contempt of the Preliminary Injunction. On November 6, 1997, the Court issued an Order freezing the assets of defendant Dean R. Thomas. By stipulation of plaintiff FTC and defendants The Dean Thomas Corporation, Inc., The Game Club, Inc., Professional Publishers, Inc., and Thomas Publishing Company, Inc., Preferred Publishing Company, Inc., is made a party defendant to this action; and by stipulation of plaintiff FTC and defendants Dean R. Thomas, The Dean Thomas Corporation, Inc., The Game Club, Inc., Professional Publishers, Inc., Thomas Publishing Company, Inc., and Michael Brant, Michael Brant is made a party defendant to this action. Both stipulations are filed contemporaneously herewith.

NOW, plaintiff FTC, by and through its counsel, and defendant Michael Brant, appearing on behalf of himself, have agreed to the entry of this Stipulated Final Judgment and Order (“Order”) by this Court, to resolve all matters of dispute between plaintiff FTC and defendant Michael Brant (“defendant Brant”) in this action without trial or adjudication of any issue of law or fact. The said parties having requested the Court to enter this Order, it is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:

FINDINGS

  1. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case and has jurisdiction over defendant Brant. Venue in the Northern District of Indiana is proper.
  2. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted under sections 5(a) and 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45 and 53(b).
  3. The Commission has the authority under section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 53(b), to seek the relief it has requested.
  4. The activities of defendant Brant are in or affecting commerce, as “commerce” is defined in 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 44.
  5. By stipulating and consenting to the entry of this Order, defendant Brant does not admit any of the allegations in the Complaint. Likewise, by executing this Order, Plaintiff does not admit that any defense to the Complaint is valid.
  6. Plaintiff and defendant Brant hereby waive all rights to seek judicial review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Order, and defendant Brant waives any right that may arise under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412.
  7. This action and the relief awarded herein is in addition to, and not in lieu of, other remedies as may be provided by law, including both civil and criminal remedies; and,
  8. Entry of this Order is in the public interest.

DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this Order, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. “Defendant” means Michael Brant, and his officers, agents, directors, servants, employees, salespersons, independent contractors, corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, all other persons or entities directly or indirectly under his control or under common control with him, and all other persons or entities in active concert or participation with him, who receive actual notice of this Order by personal service or otherwise, whether acting directly or through any trust, corporation, subsidiary, division or other device, and each of them.
  2. “Person” means a natural person, organization or other legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, association, cooperative, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or any other group or combination acting as an entity.

ORDER

I.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, in connection with the offering for sale, sale, distribution, marketing or sponsorship of any advertisement, publication, program or product, that defendant is hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from:

A. making any express or implied representation of material fact that is false or misleading, including, but not limited to, any misrepresentation:

  1. concerning distribution of any such advertisement, publication, program or product;
  2. concerning printing or publishing of any such advertisement, publication, program or product;
  3. concerning any person’s approval or authorization or obligation to make any payment for any such advertisement, publication, program or product;
  4. concerning prior approval or authorization or sponsorship of any such advertisement, publication, program or product by any person;
  5. concerning the cost of any such advertisement, publication, program or product;
  6. concerning affiliation with any local, state, national or other entity;
  7. concerning the use, distribution or tax deductibility of any payment received.

B. using any alias, pen name or pseudonym, or otherwise misrepresenting his true identity.

II.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant is permanently restrained and enjoined from selling, renting, leasing, transferring or otherwise disclosing the name, address, telephone number, credit card number, bank account number or other identifying information of any person who paid money to any defendant in this matter, at any time, in connection with the offering for sale, sale, distribution, marketing, or sponsorship of any advertisement, publication, program or product. Provided, however, that defendant may disclose such identifying information to a law enforcement agency or as required by any law, regulation or court order.

III.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for a period of three (3) years, commencing with the date of entry of this Judgment, defendant shall notify in writing the Cleveland Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission, Regional Director, 1111 Superior Avenue—Suite 200, Cleveland Ohio 44114, of:

A. any change in defendant’s employment status, within ten (10) days of such change. Such notice shall include the name and address of each business that he is affiliated with or employed by, a statement of the nature of the business, and a statement of defendant’s duties and responsibilities in connection with the business; and

B. any proposed change in the structure of any business entity owned or controlled by defendant, such as creation, incorporation, dissolution, assignment, sale, creation or dissolution of subsidiaries, or any other changes that may affect compliance obligations arising out of this Judgment, within thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of any proposed change.

IV.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for a period of three (3) years, commencing with the date of entry of this Judgment, for purposes of determining or securing compliance with this Judgment, in connection with any other business owned or controlled in whole or in part by defendant, defendant shall, upon written notice:

A. permit representatives of the FTC, within five (5) business days of receipt of such request, to interview the officers, directors or employees of any such business, subject to the reasonable convenience of defendant and the person to be interviewed and without restraint or interference from defendant, at a location reasonably convenient to the person to be interviewed, defendant, and the FTC. Such officers, directors or employees may have counsel present;

B. produce documents requested by the FTC within five (5) business days of receipt of such request;

C. permit representatives of the FTC to depose any officers, directors or employees of any such business within ten (10) business days of receipt of such request; and

D. permit representatives of the FTC, within five (5) business days of receipt of such request, access during normal business hours to any office or facility in which documents and records are stored or held and to inspect and copy any such documents in defendant’s control.

V.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for a period of five (5) years from the date of entry of this Judgment, defendant shall:

A. immediately provide a copy of this Judgment to, and obtain a signed and dated acknowledgment of receipt of the same from, from each officer, director, managing agent, employee or independent contractor in any company or other business entity directly or indirectly owned, operated or controlled by defendant that engages in the offering for sale, sale, distribution, marketing, or sponsorship of any advertisement in any publication or program, and to each officer, director and managing agent of any company or other business entity that engages in the offering for sale, sale, distribution, marketing, or sponsorship of any advertisement in any publication or program at which defendant is employed; and

B. maintain, and upon reasonable notice make available to the FTC's representatives, the original and dated acknowledgments of the receipts required by this paragraph.

VI.

Each party to this Judgment hereby agrees to bear its own costs and attorney fees incurred in connection with this action; provided, however, in the event the FTC initiates proceedings to enforce any provision of this Judgment and provided further this Court determines that defendant has violated any term or provision of this Judgment, defendant shall pay the costs and attorney fees incurred by the FTC in connection with such proceedings.

VII.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for the purpose of enabling the FTC and defendant to apply to the Court at any time for such further orders or directives as may be necessary or appropriate for the interpretation or modification of this Judgment, for the enforcement of compliance therewith, or the punishment of violations thereof.

VIII.

Defendant waives all claims under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412, as amended by Pub. L. No. 104-121, 110 Stat. 847, 863-64 (1996), and all rights to seek appellate review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Judgment, or the temporary or preliminary orders entered in this proceeding, and further waives and releases any claim he may have against the FTC, the receiver herein, or their employees, agents or representatives.

SO ORDERED this ______ day of __________, 1997.

United States District Judge

The parties consent to the terms and conditions set forth above and to entry of this Stipulated Final Judgment without further notice to them.

FOR PLAINTIFF

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

BRINLEY H. WILLIAMS, Ohio Bar No. 0011793
An Attorney for Plaintiff
Federal Trade Commission
Eaton Center — Suite 200
1111 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
(216) 263-3414 (Fax: 216-263-3426)

FOR DEFENDANT

MICHAEL BRANT

MICHAEL BRANT, pro se
1503 Crescent Avenue
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805