DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against a Highlands Ranch-based medical affiliate company and its owner for allegedly violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

Consolidated Medical Services LLC and Joseph Benedetto, the company's owner, allegedly recruited individuals to market programs for medical benefits that were advertised as valid substitutions for health insurance plans. The defendants allegedly charged its recruits start-up fees of $35 to $345 in addition to a monthly hosting and maintenance fee of $29.99 to sell the programs for medical benefits online.

The company then allegedly enticed the recruits to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in addition to the other fees for marketing services and products.

Consolidated Medical Services recruited 12,800 affiliates between January 2008 and July. Less than three percent of the victims, approximately 382 people, made any money. In addition, most of the three percent allegedly still paid out more money then they earned.

Suthers' lawsuit seeks to permanently enjoin the defendants from engaging in any deceptive practices as defined in the CCPA, a judgment for restitution, disgorgement and other equitable relief, a civil penalty and court costs.

"(The) defendants have deceived, misled, and unlawfully acquired money from consumers from Colorado and throughout the nation," Suthers said.

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