Court Shuts Down Illegal Work-From-Home Scam
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal court has halted a nationwide work-at-home scam that took more than $7 million from tens of thousands of consumers.
The defendants allegedly lured consumers with false claims that they could earn up to $5,000 or more in weekly income by stuffing and mailing special advertising letters from home.
According to the FTC's complaint, David S. Brookman and his companies mailed unsolicited flyers advertising the work, but those who signed on rarely saw a payout. Only 10 percent of consumers received any payment at all, and their total average earnings was $19.50, far less than the $99 to $399 they had to pay up-front to participate.
According to the complaint, the special advertising letters consumers were being asked to stuff and mail turned out to be nothing more than solicitation flyers for a second bogus work-at-home program. Consumers who joined the second program were asked to pay an up-front fee, typically $99, purportedly to assemble and mail the defendants' Get Credit Now booklets from home and receive $20 per booklet mailed. But consumers in the booklet program were not paid for fulfilling orders and were expected to market the booklets and generate orders to make any money.
Brookman and his companies are charged with violating the FTC Act and the FTC's Business Opportunity Rule, which requires business opportunity sellers to provide specific information to help consumers evaluate a business opportunity, and prohibits sellers from making earnings claims without substantiation. The FTC seeks to permanently shut down the operation, which has used different business names to avoid negative publicity.