WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
announced Feb. 15 that Joel S. Treuhaft and his company, PHLG Enterprises LLC, have
been banned from aiding any telemarketers. This comes after the FTC charged him
with allegations of helping telemarketers in India defraud cash-strapped U.S. consumers.
The telemarketers in India allegedly deceived consumers into
paying thousands of dollars in taxes they did not actually owe. The
telemarketers allegedly pretended to be affiliated with government agencies and persuaded consumers to pay via Western Union or MoneyGram.
Treuhaft was charged for his
role in the alleged scheme. According to the FTC, he violated the FTC Act and the FTC’s
Telemarketing Sales Rule. A $1.5 million judgment has been suspended due to his
inability to pay.
“The scammers behind these call
centers relied on PHLG and its runners to get consumers’ money,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Stopping companies that assist and facilitate fraud remains a top FTC priority.”
The FTC voted 3-0 to authorize the staff to file the
complaint and stipulated final order/injunction. The complaint and final
injunction were placed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Florida Tampa Division.