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FTC freezes Lebanon company's assets
Jul 07, 2004 12:00 am
A Lebanon company along with its affiliates in four other states have had their assets frozen and were forced into receivership as part of a civil lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a freezing of assets against Internet Marketing Group, Inc. of 300 N. Maple St. in Lebanon and six other companies in four states in U.S. District Court last week.
The motion, granted by District Court Judge Todd Campbell, alleges likely violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act as well as the Telemarketing Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act.
The order prohibits the companies from "misrepresenting" any franchise or business venture opportunities in terms of promised income or refunds of investments by consumers.
The order also charges a temporary receivership with determining the ins and outs of the companies' business, including its customers and the volume and targets of outgoing telemarketing calls.
According to staff with the receivers – Robb Evans & Associates, LLC of Los Angeles – a hearing has been set before Campbell on the temporary restraining order on Thursday.
Little appears to be known about the Lebanon-based business in the local community.
A Lebanon Democrat reporter found an employee of the court-appointed receiver at the Maple Street address last week.
Robb Evans & Associates employee Earl Lanna said simply that the company was closed and under receivership. He added the case itself was under seal.
Reached Tuesday in his Los Angeles office, Lanna said nothing had changed in the case.
A staff member in Campbell's office said the restraining order was presently under seal. However, the order was posted on the Robb Evans website.
FTC attorney Deborah Dawson could not be reached in her Dallas office at press time for this story.
It is unclear what the relationship is between the companies. The companies listed in the order are RPM Marketing Group Inc, National Event Coordinators, Inc and OneSetPrice, Inc of Florida; First Choice Terminal, Inc. of Louisiana; First Choice Terminal, Inc. or Arizona and B & C Ventures, Inc of Nevada.
Decisions in two state courts shed some light on the companies' activities.
A successful District Court prosecution of OneSetPrice and company president Paul Bonnallie in Colorado describes telemarketing calls made into Colorado for OneSetPrice to sell marketing seminars in violation of the state's no-call list.
The State of Maine Office of Securities forced OneSetPrice into an agreed order. The company was apparently not registered to sell "business opportunities" in the state. The business ventures being sold by OneSetPrice included a program to buy and sell pre-paid calling cards.
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 13, or by e-mail at email@example.com.