DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against an Arizona company and its owner for allegedly engaging in multiple misleading practices during telephone sales to Iowa consumers.
The consumer fraud lawsuit against Action Point LLC of Phoenix and Robert Foster, the company's owner, alleges that the defendants made false claims that its telemarketers were disabled veterans to increase the sales of high-priced consumer goods.
The lawsuit sought a temporary injunction, which was granted by a Polk County judge on Tuesday.
"We allege that Action Point telemarketers misrepresented themselves as seriously injured, even paralyzed veterans of the Iraq or Vietnam wars in order to touch Iowans' hearts and reach deeper into their pocketbooks," Miller said.
"Generous Iowans paid premium prices on such items as cookies, light bulbs, trash bags, and household cleaners - but evidently not to the wounded vets that people thought they were talking to."
The lawsuit alleges that telemarketers for Action Point made multiple misleading claims in calls to Iowa consumers, including claims that a large portion of each payment would go to providing shelter credits and vital assistance to disadvantaged veterans and that merchandise payments would be tax deductible.
"We allege that Action Point's deception claimed older Iowans as its biggest victims," Miller said. "As we state in the lawsuit, almost all of the Iowans from whom Action Point extracted the largest amounts - sometimes through frequent repeat calls, and sometimes by getting someone to spend as much as $2,000 in a single call - were age 65 or older."
The lawsuit requests that the court permanently prohibit the defendants from making any additional deceptive calls to Iowans, require the company to pay civil penalties, honor refund requests and reimburse the state for attorney fees.
"Ruses like this make it harder for fundraising efforts that genuinely seek to benefit veterans and the disabled," Miller said.