PHOENIX (Thursday, April 28, 2011) -- Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that a (Maricopa) County Superior Court judge entered a judgment against an Mesa telemarketing company, which conducted business under the name Consumer Benefits Group. The court found that the company and its principals, Cory McCormick and Robert Meier, deceived elderly consumers throughout the country, claiming to sell an identity-theft protection program.
“This company primarily preyed on consumers over the age of 75, and through the efforts of the Attorney General’s Task Force Against Senior Abuse, we were able to shut them down,” Horne said. “This company ripped off seniors by cynically claiming to offer protection from the very type of scams they were perpetrating themselves. These crimes are especially sickening since they target a vulnerable population. That is why it is so important to have the Task Force Against Senior Abuse available to Arizonans to help alert them to this kind of activity.”
The defendants charged victims $388 for a packet of generic and often outdated information on how to avoid scams and offered a consumer hotline that was never actually available to customers. In addition, victims would later be asked to pay another $456 to participate in an Identity Watch Program that was similarly bogus. In its ruling the court noted that the defendants pitch to consumers was “replete with countless misrepresentations and false and deceptive statements.”
The court found the company and its owner in violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and Telephone Solicitation Statute and assessed penalties, restitution and costs of $455,000.
The Attorney General’s Task Force Against Senior Abuse can be contacted at 602-542-2124 orSeniorAbuse@azag.gov.