Telemarketer Settles FTC Charges

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A telemarketing operation agreed to pay $463,000 in consumer redress and $11,000 in civil penalties involving allegations of unfair and deceptive acts and violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Conversion Marketing Inc. and Adam Tyler McDonald misled consumers to believe that they were getting free samples of the Fast White tooth-whitening kit but then enrolled them for monthly shipments and billings without consent. The FTC also charged the defendants with making unsubstantiated claims about weight-loss patches called Pounds Off Patch and Carbs Off Patch.

A second complaint alleging violations of the national do-not-call registry was referred to the Department of Justice.

As part of the settlement, the defendants are prohibited from misrepresenting facts in materials about products and services, must disclose all fees and must have express, informed consent before billing consumers.

The settlement reached Jan. 12 in U.S. District Court Central District of California contains a $979,201 judgment that was suspended except for $463,000 based on inability to pay. The allegations of DNC violations were settled with a $580,056 judgment that was suspended except for $11,000. The defendants are prohibited from calling consumers on the DNC list.

The FTC voted 4-0 to approve the settlement.

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