The Federal Trade Commission and the State of Florida have obtained settlements with a group of defendants who participated in a tech support scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars.
The FTC’s complaint, filed in 2014 as part of a group of actions against Florida-based tech support schemes, alleges that the defendants used software designed to trick consumers into thinking there were problems with their computers and then directed them to telemarketers who subjected those consumers to high-pressure deceptive sales pitches for tech support products and services.
The defendants who have agreed to settle the action against them are Amit Mehta; Boost Software Inc.; Success Capital LLC and Elliot Loewenstern; and Jon Paul Holdings LLC and Jon-Paul Vasta. The settlement orders include several provisions barring future misconduct by the defendants. For example, one order bans Loewenstern and Success Capital from the tech support industry and other orders prohibit Mehta and Boost Software from upselling or selling leads related to tech support.
The FTC and State of Florida charged that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act, along with the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
"These defendants deceived consumers and used high-pressure sales tactics to convince them that their computers required tech support products," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. "I’m pleased these settlements will keep the defendants out of the tech support scam business."The settlement orders include judgments against the defendants totaling more than $37 million, which will be suspended after they pay a total of approximately $236,000 and surrender the corporate assets. The judgments are suspended due to the defendants’ inability to pay and will be lifted with the full amounts due if any of the defendants’ financial disclosures were incorrect or incomplete.
Litigation continues against co-defendants Mark Donohue, Vast Tech Support LLC, and OMG Tech Support LLC.