Advance-Fee Credit Card Marketers Settle With FTC

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Two marketing companies and their principals agreed to settle charges that they marketed advance-fee credit cards to consumers who never received the cards, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.


The FTC alleged in a November 2003 complaint that Platinum Universal LLC and Pulsar Data Inc., both doing business as Universal Card Services and Universal MasterCard, and principals Jeffrey A. Ullman and Steven M. Kirkovich violated the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.


The alleged violations stemmed from advance-fee credit card offers made to consumers via telemarketing as well as television, radio and online. The complaint further alleged that the defendants falsely represented that the receipt of a credit card was guaranteed once a fee was paid but that consumers did not receive the cards.


Under the proposed stipulated final judgment and order for permanent injunction, the defendants admitted no wrongdoing but will be permanently prohibited from engaging further in these unlawful practices. Ullman also will be permanently prohibited from involvement in any aspect of commerce in any stored value card or credit-related goods or services.


Also, a judgment of $900,000 will be suspended because of the defendants' ability to pay only the $21,491.51 in assets that were frozen by the court in November 2003. The judgment will be imposed if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.


The stipulated final judgment and order for permanent injunction was filed in the District of Southern Florida on April 3 and is subject to court approval.


Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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