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Robocalling and Credit Card Interest Rate Scheme Nets Lawsuit

PHOENIX (Wednesday, November 1, 2012) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that several related Arizona and out-of-state telemarketing companies have defrauded thousands of consumers nationwide out of millions of dollars since 2006.

“Many telemarketers use potentially deceptive tactics against consumers,” Horne said. “These Defendants run several businesses using methods designed to imply that the company has relationships that may be important to the targeted consumer, when none exist. For example, the Defendants pretended to have relationships with consumers’ credit card companies that would allow them to drastically reduce interest rates, but rates weren’t lowered and all consumers ended up with was a superficial repayment plan and some financial education DVDs.”

According to the Complaint, the companies, run by Defendants Lisa Miller, Emory Holley, IV, Rares Stelea, Justin Journay, Betsy Valorose, and Eric Pugh went by names including Proactive Planning Solutions; Purchase Power Solutions, LLC; Allied Corporate Connection, LLC; Complete Financial Strategies, LLC; 3Point14 Consultants, LLC; Elite Planning Group; First Secure Management; Key Tech Software Solutions, LLC; Key One Solutions and Financial Management Partners, Inc.

Some of the companies used illegal prerecorded message to initiate their calls, and all Defendants offered interest rate reductions to consumers with large balances and high interest rates on their credit cards. Consumers who answered “robocalls” or other sales calls were told the company could negotiate lower credit card interest rates for the consumer and could provide them with a 0% credit card to transfer their balances. Consumers were guaranteed a savings of $2,500 in interest and finance charges for their payment of $900 or more for the service. However, customers rarely received an actual interest rate reduction or low rate credit card, but instead received a computer generated payment plan that simply demonstrated they could save money by making higher monthly payments to their highest interest rate credit cards.

The Complaint accuses the Defendants of violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, the Arizona Credit Services Act and the Arizona Telephone Solicitations Act, and asks the Court to bar Defendants from further telemarketing, impose civil penalties for each Defendant of up to $10,000 for each violation as well as provide restitution to the victims. The Federal Trade Commission has also commenced legal action against the Defendants and provided valuable cooperation and assistance to the State in the investigation into this matter.

A copy of the Complaint is attached.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Salisbury.

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