Bogus candy sales scheme banned from NC, announces AG Cooper
Release date: 5/21/2012
Vendors told to say sales would help missing kids
Raleigh: A company that falsely promised people could earn money by selling candy to benefit missing children is banned from offering business opportunities or soliciting for charity in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper said today.
“It’s bad enough to promise unrealistic profits, but even worse to claim the money is going to help a charity,” Cooper said.
The Beacon Project, Creative Marketing Solutions, Universal Placement Services, and Marilyn Broermanof Charlotte sold plastic countertop candy dispensers and coached people on starting their own candy vending business. The companies lured consumers into investing as much as $50,000 with promises such as “Make $3,000 a week cash forever!” No one who bought into their scheme made the kinds of profits they promised.
The companies also told vendors to say that the money collected would be used to help find missing children. In reality, all candy sales profits went to the individual vendors while money from the sale of the dispensers went to the defendants.
Under a consent judgment signed today by Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood, the Beacon Project, Creative Marketing Solutions, Universal Placement Services, Marilyn Broerman, and their employees are permanently banned from offering business opportunities, soliciting charitable donations, and engaging in unfair business practices in North Carolina. They will pay $5,000 to the state for consumer protection purposes.
Cooper originally filed suit against the defendants on February 28, 2011 for unfair and deceptive trade practices, seeking a permanent ban on their work.
Business opportunity scams often spread during tough economic times and can cost people who invest in them far more than they’ll ever earn, Cooper warned.
“Don’t be fooled by profits that sound too good to be true, no matter how much you want to believe them,” Cooper said. “Before you agree to buy into any business opportunity, check it out thoroughly.”
North Carolina consumers can report scams and find tips on how to avoid problems at www.ncdoj.gov
or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state.
Contact: Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413