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text copied from http://www.ag.state.oh.us/press%5Freleases/archived%5Fpress%5Freleases/2002pressreleases.pdf


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2002
Failed Business Opportunity For Ohio Consumers Target Of Lawsuit Filed By Ohio Attorney General
PART OF NATIONWIDE CRACKDOWN
COLUMBUS– In a coordinated effort to crack down on business opportunity and work-at-home fraud, Ohio Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery today joined the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, and 15 other states that have launched a law enforcement sting and consumer education campaign.

In a lawsuit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Attorney General Montgomery alleges Advanced Marketing Systems of New York took orders and money for vending machines, promised large returns, and never delivered the machines. Two individuals believed to be the operators of the company, Francisco “Frank” Ramos of New York, NY and Julio Camacho of Winthrop, MA, are also named in the lawsuit.

“The sales pitch was simple and convincing – buy a vending machine and then make lots of money,” Montgomery said. “Consumers were urged to pay up front, but in most cases the machines were never delivered and no refunds were issued. It appears the only people making money were those selling the machines.”

The lawsuit alleges violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices and Business Opportunity Purchaser’s Protection Acts:

The Court is being asked to order the defendants to repay consumers and pay fines of up to $25,000 per violation.

The states and federal agencies are also launching an extensive consumer education campaign, including a Spanish language component, to help consumers avoid fraudulent business opportunity and work-at-home schemes. The FTC has three free consumer publications available at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm.

The following is a list of helpful tips one should follow before investing in “get-rich-quick” opportunities:

Consumers who would like to know more about their rights when considering a business opportunity may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 1-800-282-0515 (TTY 1-888-567-6881) or online at http://www.ag.state.oh.us.

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