Defendants tried to take advantage of consumers who were anxious about the coronavirus pandemic, agency alleges
The Federal Trade Commission has permanently banned an alleged work-from-home scammer from selling or promoting business opportunities and from using robocalls under the terms of a settlement.
The FTC alleged that Randon Morris and a number of companies he controlled initiated millions of robocalls nationwide to promote sham work-from-home business opportunities, focusing on consumers concerned about working outside their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic. The defendants lured consumers into purchasing these programs with false promises that consumers could earn hundreds of dollars a day. They also falsely claimed to be affiliated with Amazon.com.
“These defendants used illegal robocalls, lies about income, and people’s anxiety about the pandemic to pitch their work-from-home scam,” said Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “If someone promises you big money working from home, tell the FTC and see our tips at ftc.gov/IncomeScams.”
Under the settlement, Morris, National Web Design, LLC, B2B Website Design, LLC, Amazon Affiliate Program, LLC, and R&C Consultation, LLC will be banned from pitching business opportunities or work-at-home schemes, as well from any involvement with robocalls.
In addition, the settlement prohibits the defendants from making any claims about how much money consumers can earn, unless those claims are not misleading and the defendants have written substantiation for their claims. They will also be prohibited from misrepresenting their affiliation with any merchant or brand, as well as from misrepresenting any key facts about a product or service offered to consumers.
The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of more than $2 million, which is partially suspended due to an inability to pay. The defendants will be required to surrender the contents of a bank account and the reserves held in two merchant accounts to the FTC. If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial status, the full amount of the judgment would become immediately payable.
The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order was 4-0. The FTC filed the order in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and the court entered the order on March 12, 2021.
NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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