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AG Horne: Scammers selling bogus work-from-home scams targeted for legal action

(PHOENIX) Thursday, 12, 2012 -- Attorney General Tom Horne today announced the filing of a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court against 26 defendants for allegedly violating the Consumer Fraud Act, the Telephone Solicitations Statute and Civil Racketeering statute related to telemarketing/work from home scams. 

The complaint alleges that the defendants sold websites claiming that consumers could sell credit card merchant services, debt consolidation services and/or mortgage refinancing services with the promise of substantial commissions from sales generated from the consumers’ web sites. Consumers are then subjected to high-pressure sales tactics to sell marketing packages to website owners. Consumers spent thousands of dollars on these packages after again being promised substantial commissions. 

“My office is committed to shutting down work from home scams that take advantage of vulnerable consumers, especially seniors,” Horne said. “Preventing this type of consumer fraud and educating consumers about possible scams is one of my top priorities.” 

Named in the complaint are: Maurice J. Chelliah (“Butch” Chelliah), Kyle A. Evans, Vanessa Fitzgerald, Chalonne M. Foerster, Colleen G. Foerster, Robert John Miller, Melissa Sue (Anderson) Odle, Brian Scott Odle, Patrick V. Passarelli, Blain E. Scribner, Teresa Jean Scribner, Scott D. Walters, BES Enterprises, LLC, ChoiceAdz, LLC, CGF Enerprises, LLC, F Marketing Limited LLC, Fast Website Marketing, LLC, MS Enterprises, LLC, Sagamore Marketing Solutions, LLC, Scribner Marketing, and Suki Enterprises 

The defendants used many other business names when telephoning consumers, including The Economic Freedom Corporation, True Success Solutions, Franklin Financial Solutions, My Choice Business Services, Innovative Marketing Strategies, DBB Marketing, CGF Enterprises and East Street Merchants. 

The Attorney General’s Office obtained an temporary restraining order that prohibits the defendants from telemarketing and from selling business opportunities. The defendants also are prevented from accessing bank accounts which potentially contain monies that were obtained through fraud. 

In addition to civil penalties and restitution for victims, the lawsuit seeks permanent injunctions preventing defendants from:

  • Violating the Consumer Fraud Act, the Telephone Solicitation Statute and the Arizona Organized Crime, Fraud and Terrorism Act in the future;
  • Having any involvement in a business entity that is engaged in the advertisement and/or sale of any business opportunity in the state of Arizona;
  • Making any and all outbound telemarketing calls to any consumer residing in the state of Arizona; and
  • Providing their customers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses, fax numbers and/or credit card or bank account numbers to any other business.

Consumers who believe they were defrauded by a business opportunity seller or are contacted by a company that has not complied with the new law should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. To file a consumer complaint, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 / (520)628-6504