Mother and Son Scammers Banned from Selling Healthcare Products
If you're thinking about a mother-son activity, scamming people generally doesn't come to mind.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned a mother-son marketing team from selling healthcare-related products after they allegedly tricked consumers into buying phony medical discount cards.
In August 2014, the FTC charged Constanza Gomez Vargas, Walter S. Vargas, and United Solutions Group Inc. with falsely telling consumers they were buying a qualified health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act. They targeted Spanish-speaking consumers who needed health insurance or were paying high premiums for coverage because they had lost their jobs or had preexisting medical conditions.
According to the FTC's complaint, the defendants claimed the insurance would pay for doctor and emergency room visits, but instead, consumers received nearly worthless discount cards and were left uninsured, despite paying an enrollment fee and monthly payments ranging from $99 to several hundred dollars.
The proposed settlement order also permanently prohibits the United Solutions Group defendants from misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, and selling or otherwise benefitting from customers' personal information. It imposes a $2.1 million judgment that will be suspended upon payment of $17,616 and the transfer of two Mercedes Benz cars. The full judgment will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition. Litigation continues against Gary L. Kieper and Partners In Health Care Association Inc.