(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against three Utah-based companies that sold an online work-from-home program to Ohio consumers. The lawsuit charges the companies with violating state and federal law. The action is part of a nationwide enforcement sweep led by the Federal Trade Commission.
"In joining with the FTC and other states in these actions we can help protect against these scams and alert citizens to this issue," said Attorney General DeWine. "Consumers need to be very careful before entering into a business opportunity plan. In this case, the businesses were marketing to Ohio consumers but they weren't following Ohio law."
According to the Attorney General, defendants Novus North LLC, doing business as Your eCommerce Support International LLC, YES International, Apply Knowledge LLC, doing business as Coaching Department, and VI Education LLC marketed a program that would help consumers create, develop, market, and run their own Internet businesses from home. The businesses also marketed additional products they claimed were essential to any successful business.
Sales representatives often made verbal promises that consumers could recover their initial investment in one to three months or earn $3,000 to $10,000 per month working only seven to 10 hours per week, but the Attorney General alleges that they failed to honor Ohioans' valid requests to cancel their agreement and failed to provide full refunds.
The lawsuit charges the businesses with multiple violations of Ohio's Business Opportunity Purchaser's Protection Act and violations of Ohio's Telephone Solicitation Sales Act and the federal Do Not Call regulations. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
Attorney General DeWine provides the following information for consumers:
Under Ohio's Business Opportunity Purchaser's Protection Act, you have five days to cancel a business opportunity agreement in which you owe an initial payment of $500 to $50,000.
The seller must give you notice of your right to cancel and a written disclosure document.
Verbal promises must be in writing, and sellers cannot make misrepresentations.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly in a business opportunity plan or any consumer transaction should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840