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The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 412 refund checks totaling more than $700,000 to consumers who were victimized by a telemarketing operation that allegedly tricked them into buying bogus health insurance.     

In August 2010, the FTC and the Tennessee Attorney General sued United States Benefits, LLC, and its principals, Timothy Thomas and Kennan Dozier in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, charging them with deceptively marketing medical discount plans as health insurance, calling consumers on the Do-Not-Call Registry, and making illegal robocalls. In November 2011, the FTC and Tennessee announced a settlement of the lawsuit.  The settlement order barred the defendants from selling healthcare-related goods or services and violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and required them to forfeit assets from which the FTC is issuing refunds.

The checks are being mailed by an administrator working for the FTC, and will expire 60 days after they are issued.  Consumers with questions about the United States Benefits refund checks should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC at 1-888-214-0638. For general questions about the FTC’s refund program, visit

Consumers seeking more information on how to avoid deceptive health insurance schemes can learn more from the FTC publication Discount Plan or Health Insurance?

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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