Companies Targeting Hispanics Ordered to Pay $940,000
The judgment is suspended upon the defendants' payment of $940,000 to the FTC due to their inability to pay more. If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial status, they will be responsible for the full amount.
The FTC alleged the defendants' telemarketers identified themselves as being part of a government program that had selected the called consumer to receive subsidized English-language or auto-mechanic training.
According to the FTC, whether or not consumers accepted the offer, a package of videotapes, computer disks and workbooks would arrive C.O.D., costing between $150 and $300.
Consumers who refused the package or called to cancel often would receive a call from a second telemarketer posing as an attorney and threatening legal action if the consumer did not pay, the FTC alleged.
The announcement was made at a conference in Los Angeles yesterday with Hispanic leaders, law enforcement officials and consumer groups aimed at helping to fight fraud in the Hispanic community.