Deceptive Business Coaching Scheme That Duped Consumers Out of Thousands Charged by FTC

The defendants target people who buy bogus work-at-home programs online for less than $100, ultimately charging them thousands

Deceptive Business Coaching Scheme That Duped Consumers Out of Thousands Charged by FTC
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May 18, 2018

Two individuals and their Utah-based telemarketing operation have been charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with deceptively claiming that their business coaching services can help consumers start home-based businesses that earn thousands of dollars a month.

Consumers routed to defendants' telemarketers

According to the FTC, the defendants target people who buy bogus work-at-home programs online for less than $100. Those who sell these programs often encourage buyers to contact an "expert consultant" or "specialist" to see if they qualify for an "advanced" coaching program. Consumers who call to speak with a specialist are routed to the defendants' telemarketers.

Charged up to $13,995 for Program

As alleged in the FTC's complaint, the defendants charge up to $13,995, usually on consumers' credit cards, for a purported business coaching program that provides information that is largely available for free on the Internet, and thousands of dollars more for other purported business development services.

In reality, most people who buy the defendants' services do not develop a functioning business, earn little or no money, and end up heavily in debt.

Prohibited from Selling Business Coaching Services

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah has entered stipulated temporary restraining orders that freeze the defendants' assets and prohibit them from selling business coaching services.

The FTC says that it is seeking to permanently end the defendants' alleged illegal practices and obtain redress money for consumers harmed by the scheme.

The Defendants

The defendants in this case are Jared Rodabaugh, Justin Larsen, Vision Solution Marketing LLC, VSM Group LLC, Ryze Services LLC, and Specialized Consulting Solutions LLC.

All of the defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.