Raleigh residents ordered to pay for telemarketing scam
Posted August 25, 2011 3:08 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2011 3:15 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A federal judge has ordered two Raleigh residents to pay about $5.5 million for taking part in a scheme to offer phony government grants to consumers, authorities said Thursday.
As part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and at least four states, including North Carolina, Martin Nossov and Real Estate Buyers Financial Network are prohibited from illegal telemarketing and misleading consumers. Nossov and the company were ordered to pay more than $5.3 million in restitution.
Alicia Nossov agreed, under the settlement, to follow laws that govern telemarketing and fair business practices and will pay $126,894.
Five Kansas companies and their operators and three Utah companies and their operators agreed to similar telemarketing bans.
The scam involved convincing people to purchase guides on how to win government grants, and follow-up pitches urged consumers to buy other materials and offered grant-writing and other services for fees, authorities said.
“Grant scams prey on people’s hopes and waste their money,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “We’re working to shut down these scams in North Carolina and across the country.”