The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has permanently banned an alleged work-from-home scammer from selling or promoting business opportunities, who led people to think they were being interviewed for jobs with Amazon.
The FTC alleged that Randon Morris and a number of companies he controlled initiated millions of robocalls to promote sham work-from-home business opportunities, focusing on consumers concerned about working outside their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The $2 million judgment has been partially suspended because of an inability to pay, according to the FTC.
"The defendants lured consumers into purchasing these programmes with false promises that consumers could earn hundreds of dollars a day. They also falsely claimed to be affiliated with amazon.com," the FTC said in a statement on Friday.
"These people used illegal robocalls, lies about income, and people's anxiety about the pandemic to pitch their work-from-home scam," said Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Under the settlement, the scammers will be banned from pitching business opportunities or work-at-home schemes, as well from any involvement with robocalls.
"In addition, the settlement prohibits the defendants from making any claims about how much money consumers can earn, unless those claims are not misleading and the defendants have written substantiation for their claims," the FTC said.
he defendants will be required to surrender the contents of a bank account and the reserves held in two merchant accounts to the FTC.
"If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial status, the full amount of the judgment would become immediately payable," the commission said.