SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced an agreement on Monday that bans a North Carolina company from doing business in Oregon for allegedly falsely claiming to raise money for veterans and other groups.
The Publishing Group Inc. allegedly claimed that advertising purchases in its publications would aid veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and drug abuse prevention programs. The company agreed to pay $6,000 and faces significantly higher fines if it violates the agreement filed on Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
"Raising money by falsely claiming to help veterans is unconscionable," Kroger said.
The Publishing Group contacted small businesses over the telephone to sell them advertising. The company claims to have several different publications, but they are only available online at the company's websites, which include TheRescueSquadMagazine.com, TheVolunteerFiremanOnline.com, TheLawEnforcementTimes.com, TheUnitedVeteransReport.com and TheDrugpPeventionNews.com.
Kroger's Charitable Activities Section alleged that The Publishing Group falsely claimed that advertising purchases would benefit local volunteer fire departments, drug abuse prevention programs, a children's safety "stop drop and roll" program, and fire, law enforcement and emergency services.
The company also allegedly sold online ads based on the false representation that TheLawEnforcementTimes.com is "an information exchange for professional law enforcement agencies" and "disseminates useful and educational information pertaining to all phases of police protection." The company, however, has no affiliation with any public safety groups or comparable charitable organizations, Kroger says.