WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) —
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week it is mailing
285,361 checks totaling more than $3.7 million to victims of Fortune Hi-Tech
Marketing’s (FHTM) alleged pyramid scheme.
The scheme’s operators were banned
from multilevel marketing after settling with the FTC and the states of
Illinois, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Recipients will need to
deposit or cash checks within 60 days.
The Kentucky-based scheme
enrolled more than 350,000 consumers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico
and Canada throughout the last four years. According to the FTC, FHTM deceived
these consumers by claiming they could earn income through the sales of various
products and services. The consumers would then have to pay start-up costs and
monthly fees to retain their positions with the company.
The FTC charged that FHTM’s
main business was recruiting new members and not selling products. Close to 88
percent of consumers failed to even recoup their enrollment fees in FHTM and 98
percent lost more money than they ever made.