COVID-19 PPE Scam | Biotech Company In $94 Million False Claims Settlement | Hidden Telecom Fees | Cozen O’ConnorJuly 31, 2020
Selling Nonexistent PPE Is Not a Good Business Plan
- New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with medical supply company Borgese Holdings, Inc. d/b/a IMPACT Medical & Surgical Solutions and its owner (collectively, “IMPACT”) to resolve allegations that it fraudulently attempted to sell personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and other medical supplies that it could not deliver in violation of New York Executive Law 63(12), which prohibits repeated fraud in the conduct of business.
- The complaint alleged that IMPACT fraudulently offered to sell PPE, including 3M-branded N95 respirator masks, to the state of New York and hospitals and healthcare systems nationwide, and obtained substantial upfront payments that it later had to refund because it never had access to the products it promised to deliver.
- Under the terms of the proposed consent order and judgment, IMPACT may only resume selling PPE and COVID-19 test kits on or after January 1, 2023, and then only upon posting a $100,000 performance bond by IMPACT Medical & Surgical Solutions and another $100,000 bond by its owner. It also is barred from engaging in deceptive or fraudulent marketing and sales practices, among other things.
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Washington AG’s “Honest Fees Initiative” Produces Third Telecom Settlement
- Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached a settlement with telecommunications company Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”) to resolve allegations of misleading consumers with hidden fees in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act.
- The AG’s office alleged that, among other things, Charter’s online marketing failed to adequately disclose to consumers that a fee called a “Broadcast TV Surcharge” would be added to their monthly bills and that the fee would be periodically increased.
- Under the terms of the consent decree, Charter is required to pay $739,400 to the AG’s office, including attorneys’ fees and costs, and also will issue $255,660 in bill credits to impacted Washington consumers.
- Charter is also ordered to clearly and conspicuously disclose all fees, surcharges, and terms and conditions in its internet advertising, and send to customers an order confirmation setting forth all fees and material terms within one day of a customer placing an order, among other things.
- As previously reported, AG Ferguson’s “Honest Fees Initiative” also has netted settlements with CenturyLink Inc. and with Frontier Communications Corporation.
FTC Shuts Down Another Credit Card Interest Rate Scam
- The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with a group of 11 entities and three related individuals, jointly doing business as CSG Solutions and Second Choice Horizon LLC (collectively “CSG”), to resolve allegations that it used deceptive robocalls promising reduced credit card interest rates to defraud consumers in violation of…