Phony Grant Operation Bilked at Least $3 Million from Elderly and Disabled Consumers Seeking Financial Help

The defendants told consumers they could get $10,000 or more in government or private grant money

Phony Grant Operation Bilked at Least $3 Million from Elderly and Disabled Consumers Seeking Financial Help
Image: CPSC
August 8, 2018

A federal court has halted a telemarketing scheme that swindled at least $3 million from mostly elderly and disabled consumers who were seeking help with paying personal expenses, such as credit card debts, medical bills, and home repairs.

The court's action came at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Got Nothing, ended up even deeper in debt

According to the FTC, the defendants falsely told consumers they could get $10,000 or more in government or private grant money by using the their service. They charged consumers up-front fees ranging from $295 to $4,995, and routinely told them that, for an additional fee, they could either obtain more grant money or receive the money faster.

The FTC says that, most, if not all, of the consumers scammed by the defendants received nothing at all and ended up even deeper in debt.

Numerous Company Names

The defendants operated under many company names, often changing names when they received consumer complaints or cease and desist notices from state attorneys general, or when they lost merchant accounts, which are used to process charges to consumers' credit and debit card accounts.

The Defendants

The defendants in this case are: Hite Media Group, LLC, also doing business as Premium Grants and PremiumGrants.com; Premium Business Solutions LLC and Premium Domain Services LLC, both also d/b/a Premium Services, Premium Grants and PremiumGrants.com; 2 Unique LLC, also d/b/a Premium Services, Unique Grants.com, and Grant Support; Amazing App LLC; Michael Ford Hilliard; Michael De Rosa; Shawn Stumbo; Tiffany Hoffman; and Jeremy Silvers.

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