PHOENIX (December 12, 2012) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has obtained a judgment of $10,574,881 against Defendants Christopher Lewallen, Solid Ad Solutions LLC, Solid Tech Solutions LLC, Freedom Billing LLC and EWeb Financial LLC for fraudulently telemarketing work-at-home businesses opportunities to consumers nationwide.
After finding that Defendants committed multiple violations of the Arizona Telephone Solicitations Act and Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act, in a default hearing, a Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner earlier this month awarded $8,157,382 in restitution to defrauded consumers and $2,350,000 in civil penalties to the State, along with costs and attorney’s fees.
“Since 2008, these Defendants have preyed on people facing desperate financial problems, many of them elderly, by cynically offering a program that promised to help earn extra income,” Horne said. “Defendants were the only ones who profited from the “web-malls” sold to consumers who were promised they would earn big commissions through online sales. Arizona consumers need to be extremely cautious about purchasing work-at-home business opportunities, especially over the phone.”
Defendants’ targets were consumers who had either previously purchased or filled out an information request regarding home-based business opportunities. The Defendants offered to set up consumers with an internet “web-mall” where they could earn commissions on products bought through the “web-mall” or through ads placed on the website. In addition, consumers were promised a business coaching program that would show them how to operate the business successfully.
The company promised a high rate of income and a “risk free” investment while charging the consumer anywhere from $99 to $499 in up-front costs. Once a consumer made the initial purchase, the companies used high pressure sales techniques to sell other services such as web traffic and advertising for thousands of dollars. No consumer ever made a profit or made commissions nearing the amount invested.
Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Salisbury handled the case for Attorney General Horne’s Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section.
A copy of the Complaint, its attachments and the Judgment is attached