UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION,

Plaintiff,

v.

RAYMOND URSO, et al.

Defendants.

Case No. 97-2680

CIV-Ungaro-Benages
Magistrate Judge Bandstra

Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction
as to Defendant David Bennett

On August 19, 1997, plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "Commission"), filed its complaint for a permanent injunction and other relief in this matter, pursuant to Sections 13(b) and 19(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. 53(b) and 57b(a), charging David Bennett with violations of (1) Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a), and (2) the FTC’s Trade Regulation Rule entitled "Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising and Business Opportunity Ventures" ("Franchise Rule"), 16 C.F.R. Part 436. On September 15, 1997, this Court entered a stipulated preliminary injunction as to the Defendant Bennett.

The Commission, by and through its counsel, and the Defendant Bennett, by and through his counsel, have agreed and stipulated to the entry of this Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction ("Final Order") by this Court. Therefore, the Defendant and the Commission having requested the Court to enter this Order, the Court makes the following findings of fact and orders the following:

FINDINGS

  1. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case and of the parties hereto;
  2. The Commission's complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against the Defendant Bennett under Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a), and the Franchise Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 436. This Final Judgment shall not constitute an admission by Defendant Bennett that he has committed any acts or practices that violate Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a), or its Franchise Rule, 16 C.F.R. 436;
  3. Defendant Bennett waives any claim he may have under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412, concerning the prosecution of this action;
  4. Defendant waives all rights to seek appellate review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Final Order;
  5. Entry of this Final Order is in the public interest.

DEFINITIONS

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

  1. "Stipulating Defendant" means David Bennett.
  2. "Business opportunity" or "business venture" means any written or oral business arrangement, however denominated, whether or not covered by the Franchise Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 436, which consists of the payment of any consideration for: a) the right or means to offer, sell, or distribute goods or services (whether or not identified by a trademark, service mark, trade name, advertising, or other commercial symbol); and b) assistance to any person in connection with or incident to the establishment, maintenance, or operation of a new business or the entry by an existing business into a new line or type of business.

ORDER

CONDUCT PROHIBITIONS

I.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Stipulating Defendant, his successors, assigns, officers, agents, employees, and those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this Order by personal service or otherwise, are hereby restrained and enjoined from misrepresenting, either orally or in writing, expressly or by implication, the following:

A. That they are an independent source or repository of information or complaints about the business practices of any other business;

B. That they are in any way affiliated with the Council of Better Business Bureaus or any local Better Business Bureau. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Using the words, "Better Business Bureau" as part of their business name or promotional scripts or materials to suggest such an affiliation, connection, approval, or endorsement;
  2. Identifying their business as a national office of the Better Business Bureau, or as a Better Business Bureau for businesses that operate nationwide, rather than locally; and
  3. Permitting any member company or other affiliated business entity to misrepresent such an affiliation, connection, approval or endorsement;

C. The income, profits, or sales volume a purchaser can achieve through the purchase of any business opportunity;

D. Stipulating Defendant David Bennett's true identity in the course of his business dealings or in publicly filed documents, including but not limited to, the use of any fictitious, false, or assumed title or name, other than his own proper name.

II.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court's approval of the Final Order is expressly premised upon the truthfulness, accuracy, and completeness of the financial

statements which have been submitted to the Commission by the Stipulating Defendant. If, upon motion by the Commission, this Court finds that the Stipulating Defendant’s financial statements either failed to disclose any material asset or source of income or materially misrepresented the value of any asset or source of income, or contained any other material misrepresentation or omission, the Commission may request that this Final Order be reopened for the purpose of requiring restitution or additional relief from the Stipulating Defendant.

Provided, however, that in all other respects this Final Order shall remain in full force and effect unless otherwise ordered by this Court; and provided further, that proceedings instituted under this Paragraph are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other civil or criminal remedies as may be provided by law, including any other proceedings the Commission and/or the receiver may initiate to enforce this Final Order. Solely for the purposes of reopening or enforcing this Final Order under this Paragraph, the Stipulating Defendant waives any right to contest any of the allegations in the Complaint filed in this matter.

III.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that each party to this Final Order shall bear its own costs and attorney fees incurred in connection with this action.

IV.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, within five (5) business days after receipt by the Stipulating Defendant of this Final Order as entered by the Court, Stipulating Defendant David Bennett shall submit to the Commission a truthful sworn statement that shall acknowledge receipt of this Final Order.

V.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, in order to facilitate the Commission's monitoring of compliance with the provisions of this Final Order, Stipulating Defendant David Bennett shall, for three (3) years after the date of entry of this Final Order, notify the Commission in writing within thirty days of any change in his residential address, such notification to be provided to the following address:

Associate Director
Division of Marketing Practices
Federal Trade Commission
Room 238
6th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580

VI.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Court retains jurisdiction of this matter for the purpose of enabling any of the parties to this Final Order 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 Final Order, for the enforcement of compliance therewith or the punishment of violations thereof.

SO ORDERED, this _____day of _________, 1998, at __________.m.

__________________________________
Ursula Ungaro-Benages
United States District Judge

REVIEWED, STIPULATED AND AGREED TO BY:

________________________________Dated: _____________
David Bennett

_________________________________Dated: _____________
Stanley Riskin, Esq.
on behalf of Defendant David Bennett

_________________________________Dated:______________
Richard Quaresima (A5500332)
Mona S. Spivack (A5500333)
Federal Trade Commission