NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper announced on Friday that a temporary order has been obtained against a group alleged to have unlawfully collected thousands of dollars from consumers inside and outside the state.
Mountain Area Communications LLC, American Publisher's Service LLC and owners and operators Zach Haverland, Eric N. McDonald and Shawna R. McDonald allegedly violated the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. G.H. "Mack" McDonald, Nancy Juniper and Christopher M. McDonald have also been named as relief defendants to protect assets for potential distribution as restitution.
Cooper's request for the temporary restraining order was granted on behalf of Gary Cordell, the director of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Consumer Affairs Division. The Greeneville Court granted the request, which places all assets of the group under receivership by the state. The court has extended the order until further notice.
Cooper's office received multiple consumer complaints about the East Tennessee-based telemarketers allegedly running boiler room-style operations.
"Defendants Mountain Area and American Publishers have operated together as a common enterprise while engaging in the deceptive and abusive acts and practices and other violations of the law alleged herein," Cooper's lawsuit said.
The defendants allegedly contacted consumers informing them they had won a shopping spree. The prize was allegedly phony and the ploy was meant to obtain the credit card numbers of the consumers for products such as long-term magazine subscriptions. Cooper's lawsuit seeks injunctive and ancillary relief along with civil penalties and court costs.