NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit on Thursday against a New York City-based company that allegedly tricked out-of-work consumers in a employment scam.
The company, known as both C.P. International Security Inc. and Gateway Production Security Inc., allegedly tricked unemployed consumers into paying for expensive security guard training courses with false promises of employment. The lawsuit also names Nicole Pierre and Charles Pierre, individuals who operated the company.
"At a time when many New Yorkers struggle with unemployment and to make ends meet, this company took advantage of vulnerable, out-of-work New Yorkers to make a profit," Schneiderman said. "My office will not tolerate fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct. We will seek the maximum penalties against this company as well as restitution for defrauded consumers."
Schneiderman alleges that the company posted phony security guard job listings online and in newspapers targeting Spanish and Chinese-speaking consumers in particular by placing ads in Spanish and Chinese-language newspapers. C.P.I. would then allegedly tell consumers who responded to the advertisements that they had been selected for the positions but first needed to complete a series of security guard training courses at a cost of $399.
After paying for and completing the training, consumers allegedly discovered that the jobs did not exist. Although C.P.I. had promised employment, it would instead offer graduates worthless referrals to security guard companies. When consumers attempted to pursue those referrals, they found that the companies that they were referred to allegedly had no knowledge of C.P.I. and were neither expecting the candidate for an interview nor hiring.
C.P.I. also allegedly falsely represented that consumers must complete the entire $399 package of course to be eligible to work as a security guard when, in fact, only one of the three security courses in the series - the eight hour pre-assignment training course - is required to begin working as a security guard. In addition, C.P.I.'s training courses allegedly do not comply with state requirements for security guard training courses, including requirements for minimum hours of instruction and topics that must be covered.
Schneiderman's lawsuit seeks restitution for thousands of consumers, as well as penalties and injunctive relief prohibiting the company from continuing to operate the alleged scam.