Through the joint efforts of the Federal Trade Commission, the Florida Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General, the FTC is sending refunds totaling more than $1 million to business owners who were victims of a deceptive scheme that sold labor law posters.
According to lawsuits brought by the FTC, the Florida Office of the Attorney General, and the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Thomas Henry Fred, Jr. and Starwood Consulting LLC, also doing business as Corporate Compliance Services, sent mailers that looked like invoices from government agencies to newly established businesses. The notices directed them to pay $84 for posters and warned that, “Failure to comply with posting regulations can lead to fines of up to $17,000.” To convince businesses that the mailers were invoices that must be paid, the mailers cited multiple federal statutes and listed a “Business ID” number and a response deadline.
The FTC is mailing 26,817 checks with a value of $40.80 each to victims of the scheme. Recipients should deposit or cash their checks within 60 days.
The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. If recipients have questions about the refunds, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, at 1-877-874-5786 or admin@CCSRefund.com.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Follow the FTC on social media, read consumer alerts and the business blog, and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts.