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.