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Consumer Alert: Attorney General Tom Horne Obtains Injunctions Against Arizona Telemarketers Selling Home-Based "Business Opportunities"

Phoenix, AZ (Friday, January 17, 2014) -- In an ongoing effort to combat telemarketing scams, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced today the recent filing of a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court against several Arizona-based businesses and individuals. The defendants are alleged to have targeted mainly elderly consumers in a “work from home” business opportunity scam.

The lawsuit  alleges that the defendants worked together to defraud consumers of millions of dollars while selling them programs that the defendants claimed would result in consumers earning lucrative commissions, advertising the defendants’ credit card processing services and cash advances to businesses. Consumers spent thousands of dollars on the defendants’ “business opportunity”, including expensive marketing campaigns, after being promised substantial commissions that never materialized.

The State alleges that the following individuals, corporations and businesses violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, the Arizona Telephone Solicitations statute and the Arizona Organized Crime, Fraud and Terrorism Act (racketeering):

Jeffrey Alan Hankins, Thomas C. Mikla, Vyacheslav “Steve” Yagudayev, Scott Shocklee, Veronica Cabrales, Brooke Marcus, JST Merchant Services LLC, JSTEBIZSERVICES LLC, J and S Productions LLC, Top Choice Merchants LLC, BBS Merchant Group LLC, E-Biz-Services LLC, North Star Billing LLC, United Billing Services LLC, and United Online Merchants LLC.

The Court has granted the State’s request for an temporary injunction, freezing the defendants’ personal and business assets, and  prohibiting them defendants from  selling business opportunities or engaging in any telemarketing activities.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe.

Consumers who believe they were defrauded by a business opportunity seller should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. To file a consumer complaint on-line, please visit https://www.azag.gov/complaints#consumer. If you have questions or would like to request a complaint form, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at 602.542.5763 (Phoenix)/ 520.628.6504 (Tucson) / or toll free outside metro Phoenix, 800.352.8431.