SACRAMENTO — California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown on Thursday reached a legal settlement with a Midwestern Internet travel business that the state had accused of running "an elaborate pyramid scheme."
The company, YTB International Inc. of Wood River, Ill., agreed to pay $1 million in penalties, attorney costs and restitution to California consumers who had filed complaints with the state.
YTB, which also operates as YourTravelBiz.com, didn't admit to any wrongdoing in agreeing to settle a lawsuit filed in August in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The settlement, Brown said, would stop what he described as deceptive sales practices. It also would prohibit the company from charging customers $450 each to buy a personalized website and about $50 a month to operate it. Few buyers profited from the arrangement, and annual individual income from the sale of travel averaged only $39 in 2007.