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Consumer Fraud

BUSINESS
January 10, 2006 | From Associated Press
More than a thousand customers didn't receive items they had ordered from a company that does business through Amazon.com Inc., forcing the massive online retailer to offer refunds. Amazon.com spokeswoman Patty Smith said Monday that the outside seller, which is listed as "Mygreatchoice," received outstanding customer ratings when it first began selling on Amazon.com in July. But Amazon.com noticed a big decline in customer satisfaction starting in late November. Seattle-based Amazon.
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NATIONAL
May 28, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who sent 850 million junk e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities was sentenced in Buffalo to as much as seven years in prison for forgery, identity theft and falsifying business records. Atlanta-based Internet service provider Earthlink Inc. said it hoped the sentence and an earlier $16.4-million civil judgment against Howard Carmack would deter other spammers.
NATIONAL
January 23, 2004 | From Reuters
Americans reported losses of $437 million last year to identity theft and fraud as scam artists made themselves at home on the Internet, according to federal statistics released Thursday. The Federal Trade Commission said it received more than half a million consumer complaints in 2003 as scam artists financed their spending sprees with other people's credit cards and hucksters sold nonexistent products through online sites.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2003 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
An Orange County home builder was charged Wednesday with diverting $340,000 in construction funds for his own use and unlawfully selling homes at a development in Altadena that was left unfinished. Timothy N. Roberts, freed on $175,000 bail after surrendering to authorities, will be arraigned Oct. 2 and could face up to 13 years in prison if convicted on all 16 felony counts, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
BUSINESS
July 21, 2003 | Michael Hiltzik
Proprietors of ethnic restaurants and auto repair shops across the state undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief when California authorities put the Trevor Law Group out of business.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2003 | Monte Morin, Times Staff Writer
State Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit against a Beverly Hills law firm Wednesday alleging that the lawyers used the state's Unfair Competition Law to extort cash settlements from thousands of small businesses under the guise of consumer protection. Lockyer, who described the action as a "delicious irony," filed the suit under the same law that the Trevor Law Group used when suing more than 2,000 auto repair shops and about 1,000 restaurants.
NATIONAL
December 19, 2002 | Vicki Kemper, Times Staff Writer
The Food and Drug Administration, saying it wants to help consumers make more healthful choices, announced Wednesday that it will allow food makers to list health claims on product labels before they have been scientifically proven. FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan also said his agency will crack down on false health claims made by manufacturers of dietary supplements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 2002 | Mai Tran, Times Staff Writer
Westminster police are warning the public in the wake of several scams in which elderly people have been duped into handing over money. In the most recent case, a 74-year-old man came close to giving suspects $20,000, thinking he was helping them donate to a church. A bank teller became suspicious and called police when the man tried to withdraw the money. Westminster police arrested Bopha Eng Touch, 22, and Hung Phi Nguyen, 26, both of Los Angeles.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2002 | From Reuters
The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it had sued six junk e-mailers who bombarded Internet users with illegal pyramid schemes, fraudulent loans and e-mail filters that actually attracted more "spam." The announcement came as other state and federal law-enforcement authorities in the Northeast announced actions of their own as part of a concerted effort to cut down on deceptive spamming and other illegal behavior on the Internet.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2002 | Associated Press
Two companies that hosted psychic hotline queen Miss Cleo's late-night infomercials will pay $1.9 million to Connecticut residents under a settlement with the state over a deceptive trade practice claim. Access Resource Services and the Psychic Readers Network, both based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., did not admit wrongdoing. Access Resource Services reached a similar settlement this week with Illinois.
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