A federal district court judge has prohibited Debra Mink from ever offering, or assisting others to offer, employment services again. Mink was charged by the Federal Trade Commission in May with running a fraudulent job-placement service. The court also prohibited Mink, who did business as International Services, from falsely representing any material fact in connection with any future telemarketing activities, and ordered her to pay more than $593,000 for consumer redress.
The FTC urges consumers who used a credit card to purchase job-placement services from Mink to consider contacting their credit card issuer immediately to initiate chargeback proceedings. Mink was in business from February 1994 through May 5, 1995.
Mink operated her business out of Monroe, Michigan. The default judgment against her, issued by Judge Gerald E. Rosen, was entered after Mink failed to defend herself against the FTC charges. The FTC had alleged that she placed ads in newspapers in many states, leading consumers to believe that International Services was filling openings for specific positions, commonly financial analyst positions. Job seekers who called the telephone number given in the ads reached telemarketers, and sometimes Debra Mink herself, who allegedly made a variety of false claims regarding the kinds of firms to which she marketed clientsþ resumes, how many clients she placed, and the refundability of placement fees. In one allegation, the FTC charged that, in numerous instances, Mink fabricated the work she purported to have performed for clients in order to justify keeping a large portion of the fees they had paid.
The court found that Mink's sales totalled at least $593,206.27, and entered a judgment against her for that amount. Any money the FTC collects on that judgment will, if practical, be used to provide refunds to consumers who purchased Minkþs services.
The judgment was issued on Sept. 15 by Judge Rosen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.
A free FTC brochure for consumers titled Job-Hunting: Should You Pay? offers advice for consumers considering whether to use job-placement firms. Copies of the brochure, and the judgment and other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC File No. 942 3303)
(Civil Action No. 95-CV-71780-DT, Judge Gerald E. Rosen)