Commission authorization of the staff to file amended complaints: The Commission has authorized the staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against World Traders Association, et al. Earlier this year, as part of “Operation Biz-Opp Flop,” staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a complaint against the defendants alleging they had engaged in a fraudulent surplus goods business opportunity scheme. Specifically, the defendants allegedly promised purchasers, for a fee ranging from $3,995 to $7,995, that they would provide access to hundreds of low-priced, overstocked goods, expert training in the surplus goods industry, and pre-qualified accounts. Through this action, the FTC is seeking to add the following defendants to the complaint as entities of the common enterprise: International Associates Worldwide, Inc.; Magna Delta, LLC; and Office Options, LLC.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint was 5-0. (FTC File No. X050021, Docket No. CV05-0591AHM (CTx); the staff contact is Laura Kim, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3734; see press release dated October 12, 2004.)
– The Commission has authorized the staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against Seismic Entertainment Products, Inc., SmartBot.Net, Inc., and Sanford Wallace (collectively, the Seismic defendants). In October 2004, staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a complaint against the defendants alleging that they ran an Internet-based operation that hijacks computers; secretly changes their Web browser settings; barrages them with pop-up ads; and installs, without authorization, adware and other software programs. Having created these problems for consumers, the complaint further alleges, the defendants then sent consumers Internet ads offering them purported “anti-spyware” software called Spy Wiper and Spy Deleter.
Through this action, the FTC is seeking to name as additional defendants Optintrade, Inc.; Jared Lansky; Mailwiper, Inc.; Spy Deleter, Inc.; and John Robert Martinson. The amended complaint alleges that, on behalf of the Seismic defendants, OptinTrade, Inc., and its principal Jared Lansky disseminated Internet pop-up ads causing consumers’ computers to be sent to the Seismic defendants’ Web sites, to have their Web browser home pages changed, and to have spyware and other software installed without authorization. The amended complaint also alleges that Mailwiper, Inc.; Spy Deleter, Inc.; and John Robert Martinson retained the Seismic defendants to unfairly market the purported anti-spyware products, Spy Wiper and Spy Deleter.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint was 5-0. (FTC File No. X050013; the staff contact is Laura Sullivan, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3327; see press release dated October 12, 2004.)
– The Commission has authorized the staff to file an amended complaint in the matter currently pending against The Stefanchik Organization, et al., adding as defendants Justin W. Ely and his company, Premier Consulting Group, Inc. In August 2004, staff of the FTC’s Northwest Region charged Stefanchik, et al., with making false and unsubstantiated earnings claims in the telemarketing and sale of a business opportunity program that purports to teach consumers how to make large amounts money quickly and in their spare time by buying and selling privately-held mortgage notes – notes held by individuals rather than financial institutions. The FTC subsequently obtained a preliminary injunction against defendants Scott B. Christensen and Atlas Marketing, Inc., in October 2004, and against defendants John Stefanchik and the Beringer Corporation in January 2005. The amended complaint adding Justin W. Ely and Premier Consulting Group, Inc., was filed in federal court in Seattle, Washington, on April 1, 2005.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amended complaint was 5-0. (FTC File No. X040072; the staff contact is Nadine Samter, FTC Northwest Region, 206-220-4479; see press releases dated August 26, 2004 and January 19, 2005.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.