WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged two different office supply operations, alleging they targeted non-profit organizations and tricked them into overpaying for supplies.
In the California case, Telestar Consulting Inc. also doing business as Kleritec and United Business Supply, and Karl Wesley Angel, allegedly used a variety of tactics to persuade customers to pay for merchandise they never ordered.
The Maryland case defendants include American Industrial Enterprises LLC, Easton Chemical Supply Inc., Lighting X-Change Company LLC, LMS Lighting & Maintenance Solutions LLC, Werner International Enterprises Inc., Benjamin Cox, Vincent Stapleton and John Tharrington. The FTC charges Lightning X-Change with falsely indicating prior business with consumers and that they were offering a free sample or catalog, without disclosing that it was a sales call.
“The defendants lied to small businesses, charities and churches to get them to pay for overpriced supplies they didn’t order,” said Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “That’s not only shameful, it’s also illegal.”
Both cases charge defendants with violating the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Unordered Merchandise Statute, the commission said.