Abbott reaches agreement with Ky. company

Bryan Cohen Nov. 15, 2011, 12:59pm


HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced an agreement on Tuesday with a Lexington, Ky.-based direct sales firm that allegedly operated an illegal pyramid scheme.

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing Inc. agreed to repay up to $1.3 million to its Texas customers. The agreement resolves Abbott's allegations that the company violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

In a typical illegal pyramid scheme, an investor or purchaser pays a fee for the opportunity to receive profits in the future. Those payments are primarily obtained by inducing others to join the operation and pay a fee rather than from the sale of an actual service or product. Fortune Hi-Tech's customers complained that the defendant falsely represented the earnings they would achieve if they became one of the independent representatives of the defendant.

The settlement agreement prohibits Fortune Hi-Tech from engaging in deceptive trade practices in the future and requires the defendant to refund up to $299 to each Texas customer who qualifies, up to a total of $1.3 million.

Qualified customers may obtain additional information about the settlement and may submit a refund claim to the company by downloading a claim form from Abbott's Consumer Protection Division at Claims must be submitted to Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing no later than Nov. 28.

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