Gansler sues prize patrol

Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 11, 2011, 10:12am


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced on Friday that he has filed a lawsuit against a Florida-based company that allegedly used a Maryland address to deceive people into thinking they had won prizes.

Synchronicity LLC and Michael J. Connors, its owner/manager, allegedly sent tens of thousands of solicitations offering prizes of cash and other valuable items to consumers but offered no such prizes to those who responded.

Gansler's lawsuit alleges that the company used myriad false company names -- including Office of Financial Services Administration, Lynch Galbraith & Branley, Class Action Watchdog and Prize Payment Administration Service -- to misrepresent that it was really a government agency, a prize company or a firm handling class actions.

The mailings allegedly led consumers to believe they would receive cash grants, awards or prizes valued at millions of dollars simply by returning a $20 or higher entitlement fee. The consumers received only $1 checks or nothing in return, Gansler says.

Gansler's suit alleges that the company collected over $2 million from consumers at a post office box set up in Hagerstown, Md.

Gansler is seeking a court order requiring the company and its owner to end all deceptive mailings to people in Maryland. He also wants the defendants to halt using the Maryland address and return all fees collected. Furthermore, he is seeking penalties and all costs associated with the litigation.

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