Arizona

Jul 29, 2014 1:02 PM by Faye DeHoff

Arizona AG gets judgment against fraudulent telemarketing schemes

PHOENIX - A judgment announced today against several individuals and entities who the state alleged engaged in fraudulent telemarketing schemes, selling so-called "work-at-home business opportunities" to consumers throughout the country.

"Seniors continue to be victims of business opportunity fraud," said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. "In these cases, I have obtained orders banning those who run these schemes from telemarketing in Arizona or making money from work at home scams in order to prevent future fraud."

In June, 2014, the Arizona Attorney General obtained a judgment against two local companies and their owner and manager who illegally sold business opportunities over the telephone from various locations in Arizona to consumers throughout the United States and Canada. The consent judgment permanently prohibits Kiloh Smith and his companies, Namaste Group, LLC and Southwest Marketing Technology, LLC, from selling business opportunities or from engaging in any type of outbound telemarketing while in Arizona or to Arizona consumers. Additionally, the judgment prohibits the Defendants from contesting any consumer's chargeback request with his or her credit card company for their purchase of a business opportunity from Namaste or Southwest Marketing. The judgment also orders Smith and his companies to pay a total of approximately $21,600 for consumer restitution, civil penalties and the Attorney General's fees and costs incurred in bringing its consumer fraud action against Smith and his companies.

The court found that Smith and his companies violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, as well as laws governing telephone solicitations, by: failing to provide consumers with a business opportunity disclosure statement and contract required by law; charging consumers' credit or debit cards before at least 5 days had passed since the consumers received the required disclosure statement; failing to provide consumers with verbal and written notice of their right to cancel their purchase of a business opportunity, and; failing to register with the Arizona Secretary of State and filing a bond with the Arizona Treasurer.

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