FTC Granted Temporary Ban Against New York Office Supply Scam

At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court temporarily halted a New York-based office supply scheme that charged small businesses and non-profit organizations millions of dollars for “free” samples of cleaning and other products, according to an article on the Federal Trade Commission website.

According to the FTC, the defendants called small businesses throughout the United States and Canada, offered a free sample, and then billed them for it, even when they refused the sample.

The defendants’ invoices typically named an employee in the targeted business or organization, which led many recipients to pay, believing that the employee had ordered the product.

After the initial shipment, the defendants often sent increasingly larger quantities of the product, with invoices for increasingly higher amounts.

Consumers who complained were told the extra shipments were part of the initial order.

The defendants are A1 Janitorial Supply Corp., also doing business as A One Janitorial; Century Manufacturing Corp., also d/b/a A-1 Janitorial Supply; Commercial Maintenance Chemical Corp., also d/b/a CMC; Global Direct Resources Inc., also d/b/a A-1 Janitorial; Century Manufacturing, Commercial Maintenance Chemical, and Target Supplies; Eric Sternberg; and Matthew Sternberg. They are charged with violating the FTC Act, the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the Unordered Merchandise Statute.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, entered a temporary restraining order against the defendants on Nov. 1, 2017.

Read the full article here.