A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania entered summary judgmentagainst five individuals and the telemarketing operation they ran for violating the FTC Act and the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The court order permanently bars the defendants, who operated under a variety of names, including NHS Systems, Inc., from telemarketing, charging consumers’ bank accounts, and making false and misleading statements. It also requires them to pay almost $6.9 million, the amount their scheme took from defrauded consumers.
The FTC’s complaint originally was filed as part of ‘Operation Tele-Phoney’, a 2008 crackdown on deceptive telemarketing. According to an amended complaint filed in 2009, the defendants used third-party telemarketers to unfairly and deceptively market and charge consumers for one or more discount health programs.
Consumers often were charged $29.95 to receive health care information, $299.95 to enroll in the program, and $19.95 per month thereafter, finding themselves in a “discount health care program” they never agreed to purchase.
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