WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced March 24 that it has charged a group of online marketers with allegations of deceptively luring consumers into unknowingly paying for cooking gadgets, golf equipment and access to related online subscription services.
The FTC alleges the defendants say they send “free” and “risk-free” trials to consumers. The defendants purportedly ask consumers for credit card information only for shipping costs, but later charge the consumers the full price for products and services. Consumers do not consent to the charges, the FTC claims.
According to the commission, such alleged conduct violates the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act.
The defendants in the case are Brian Bernheim, Joshua Bernheim, Jared Coates, Robert Koch AAFE Products Corp., JBE International LLC, BSDC Inc., KADC Inc., Purestrike Inc. and BNRI Corp., formerly known as Bernheim and Rice Inc.
The defendants used an assortment of names to market and promote their products, according to the FTC. These included Kitchen Advance, Gourmet Cooking Online, Gourmet Cooking Rewards, Medicus Golf, Kick X Tour Z golf balls, Golf Online Academy, Golf Tour Partners and Purestrike Swing Clinic.
The FTC voted 2-0 to authorize the staff to file the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.