Fraud Charges Finish Telemarketing Network

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A group of telemarketing companies accused of running a "massive" advance-fee credit card scam has gone out of business and agreed to a settlement, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

Assail Inc., St. George, UT, and its partner company, Infinium Inc., Cedar City, UT, agreed to a ban from telemarketing activities and are out of operation, the FTC said.

Assail's president, Kyle Kimoto, agreed to forfeit his assets including his home, vehicles and nearly all personal property. He also faces a $106 million suspended fine. Infinium president Brian Schofield agreed to a $200,000 payment and an $18 million suspended fine.

Assail and Infinium are in the liquidation process with all proceeds going to the FTC. Specialty Outsourcing Solutions, Waco, TX, also was an Assail business partner and was charged in the case, and though it was not banned from telemarketing, the company agreed to transfer $512,000 in assets to the FTC, the agency said.

According to the FTC, Assail and its partners targeted consumers with poor credit histories and offered them credit cards in exchange for a fee, then during an automated verification process that followed the initial sale upsold them benefit packages that carried monthly charges. Consumers never received the cards they ordered, the FTC said.

Assail and its partners used their own call centers and contracted with call centers in the United States, Canada, India and the Caribbean, the FTC said. Secret Service agents raided the offices of Assail and Infinium in January prior to the filing of the FTC's complaint.

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