linked from Natural Choice
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
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.
PART OF NATIONWIDE CRACKDOWN
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
“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
The lawsuit alleges violations of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices and Business Opportunity Purchaser’s
- Failure to provide a written disclosure document to prospective purchasers.
- Failure to document income representations, including potential sales, income, or profit.
- Failure to provide notice of cancellation forms.
- Failure to deliver goods or service ordered and permitting eight weeks to lapse without providing a full refund.
- Making false and misleading statements and engaging in deceptive or unconscionable acts in the course of offering a business opportunity.
The Court is being asked to order the defendants to repay consumers and pay fines of up to $25,000 per
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
The following is a list of helpful tips one should follow before investing in “get-rich-quick” opportunities:
- Check out the company with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau not only in the state where you live, but also in the state where the company is headquartered.
- Ask current owners or employees about their experiences with the company. Don’t accept a list of references selected by the company as a substitute for a complete list of franchise or business opportunity owners.
- Get all promises in writing. Any promises you hear should be written into the contract you sign.
- Ask for the details of the company’s refund policy before you buy and get that in writing as well.
- Investigate all earnings claims. Talk to others who have purchased the opportunity to see if their experience verifies the claims. Demand to see the company’s basis for its claims in writing. Be skeptical in judging whether the claims are backed up.
- Listen carefully to sales presentations. Be wary of any opportunity that sounds too easy.
- Ask for the disclosure document if you are investing in a franchise. This document, required by law, should provide detailed information to help you compare one business to another.
- Ask a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor to read any disclosure documents and proposed contracts.
- Resist high-pressure sales tactics. Take time to think the decision over.
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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Revision r1.1 - 08 Mar 2003 - 21:23 by EliMantel
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