Telemarketers Face $1 Million Ruling in Massachusetts Scam

Share this article:
A Massachusetts judge ordered two out-of-state telemarketing firms and their principals to stop doing business in Massachusetts and pay about $1 million in civil penalties, restitution and fees, state attorney general Tom Reilly said Friday.


The lawsuit alleged that the companies used deceptive telemarketing tactics to scam consumers out of hundreds of dollars, usually by withdrawing the funds directly from their bank accounts.


The judgment is from a lawsuit filed in October against Consumer Grants USA Inc., a Florida company, along with president James T. Lovern and vice president Leo J. Corrigan; Freedom Grants Inc., a Nevada company, and president/director Evelyn Hernandez; and Your Choice Inc., a Wyoming company.


The judgment was entered after five of the defendants failed to answer Reilly's lawsuit. Your Choice answered the suit, and that case is proceeding. The court order requires the five defendants to pay $158,767 in restitution to consumers who were victimized and a penalty of $800,000.


The telemarketers told consumers that they had been approved for a government grant, typically for as much as $8,000, it is alleged. The consumers were persuaded to authorize withdrawals from their bank accounts to cover processing fees of $249 to $259. But the consumers received only a booklet with listings of government grant programs. At least 1,600 Massachusetts consumers were targeted, Reilly's office said, and more than 600 lost money.


The judgment found a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices that violated the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and the Massachusetts Telemarketing Solicitation Act. Each of the five defendants is barred permanently from conducting any business, telemarketing or otherwise, in Massachusetts.


Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

Nationwide and State Farm veteran Pamela El takes the league's marketing helm next month.

Bloomberg Names Bigley CMO

Bloomberg Names Bigley CMO

Communications chief Deirdre Bigley is appointed head of global marketing for the business and financial news company.

2014 Essential Guide to Omnichannel Marketing

2014 Essential Guide to Omnichannel Marketing

The 2014 Essential Guide to Omnichannel Marketing‚ÄĒeverything you need to know about Omnichannel, all in one spot. Read on for insight.