Operators of Tech Support Scam Settle FTC Charges

Defendants Will Be Required to Surrender Assets

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The defendants behind Vast Tech Support have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission and State of Florida charges that they scammed thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars by selling them bogus technical support services.

Under the settlement, Vast Tech Support, LLC and OMG Tech Help, LLC and their chief operating officer, Mark Donohue are prohibited from misleading consumers about the nature of the products they sell or market, as well as from deceptive telemarketing. In addition, Vast Tech Support and OMG Tech Help are prohibited from advertising, promoting or selling any tech support products or services.

The FTC’s complaint against the defendants was filed in 2014 as part of a group of actions against Florida-based tech support schemes. It alleges that the defendants used software designed to trick consumers into thinking there were problems with their computers, and directed consumers to telemarketers who subjected those consumers to high-pressure deceptive sales pitches for tech support products and services. The FTC and State of Florida charged that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act, along with the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Under the terms of the stipulated final orders, Donohue is subject to a monetary judgment of $9,177,000, which is suspended based on his financial condition. Vast Tech and OMG Tech are subject to a monetary judgment of more than $27.2 million, which is partially suspended; the companies are required to surrender all of their assets to a court receiver. The full judgments will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

The Commission vote approving the stipulated orders was 3-0. The FTC filed the proposed orders in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jay Mayfield
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181

STAFF CONTACT:
J. Ronald Brooke, Jr.
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3484

Russell Deitch
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2585