FTC Action: Scammers Banned from Selling Healthcare Products
Medicare Card Scheme Took Money from Seniors’ Bank Accounts
A group of scammers who falsely promised consumers new Medicare cards in order to obtain their bank account numbers and debit their accounts will be banned from selling healthcare-related products and services under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.
The settlements resolve charges the FTC filed last year against Benjamin Todd Workman and Glenn Erikson and their companies. Their telemarketers falsely told consumers they needed their bank account numbers to verify their identities before sending a new Medicare card, promising they would not take money from the accounts. In fact, they took several hundred dollars from each consumer’s account and provided nothing in return. In some cases, their telemarketers falsely promised to provide consumers with identity theft protection services.
Under the settlement orders, the defendants also are banned from selling identity theft protection-related products and creating or depositing remotely created checks or remotely created payment orders, which are used to make bank account debits. They also are prohibited from billing or charging consumers without their consent, misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and selling or otherwise benefitting from customers’ personal information.
The orders impose a judgment of more than $1.4 million, which will be suspended upon payment of $35,000 by Workman and the surrender of certain bank accounts. In each case, the full judgment will become due immediately if either defendant is found to have misrepresented his financial condition. The defendants are Workman, Sun Bright Ventures LLC and Citadel ID Pro LLC, and Erickson and Trident Consulting Partners LLC.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the proposed stipulated final orders was 5-0. The orders were entered by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, on July 22, 2015.
NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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