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In a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, a federal judge ordered the arrest and incarceration of Paul Navestad, known legally as Paul Richard Jones, for violating a court order requiring him to pay more than $20 million for his role in a phony government grant scheme.

The court had ordered Navestad to pay $20 million in civil penalties – the largest civil penalty against a defendant in an FTC case – and give up more than $1.1 million in ill-gotten gains, for making millions of robocalls falsely claiming consumers could get grants from federal, state, and local governments, private foundations, and individuals. At the FTC’s request, the court subsequently found him in contempt for ignoring the order.

Navestad is believed to be residing overseas. The court has ordered his arrest upon his return to the United States and his incarceration until he pays the money due.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York issued the arrest warrant on December 2, 2013.

For more information on how to avoid scams, read the FTC’s Phone Scams.

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.

Contact Information

Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs

STAFF CONTACT:          
Elsie B. Kappler
Bureau of Consumer Protection