Ohio AG files lawsuits against scammers


FREMONT, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a lawsuit against two telemarketing groups accused of running a work-from-home scheme.

Buckeye Impact Group LLC and Premier Design Group LLC are accused of misleading consumers and failing to deliver promised services. According to the lawsuit, they sold personalized websites and related marketing packages they claimed would allow consumers to work from home making $1,000 to $1,500 a month as an Amazon affiliate. They said that when someone visited the consumer’s website and purchased one of the various items displayed on the site, the consumer would receive a cut of the sale, while Amazon would ship the item and handle the billing.

An Attorney General investigation found that none of the websites qualified for an Amazon program and that they did not generate income for consumers.

“People were told they could make a lot of money if they put up some of their own money first,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We found that just wasn’t true. People were paying hundreds or thousands of dollars and getting next to nothing in return.”

According to the lawsuit, Clyde-based Buckeye Impact Group and Tiffin-based Premier Design Group solicited consumers by email and phone, including calling consumers whose numbers were on the National Do Not Call Registry. Buckeye sold websites for an upfront fee of $99 or $129, and Premier offered to market the sites for initial costs of $2,500 to $7,500.

The websites sold to consumers allegedly had obscure addresses that would be nearly impossible for someone to come upon during a general internet search, and consumers said they received no income even after friends or family members made “test” purchases from their websites.

Dozens of consumers have filed complaints against the companies with agencies including the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau, but additional consumers likely have been affected.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit accuses the companies of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and failing to comply with state and federal telemarketing requirements. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks reimbursement for affected consumers and an end to any violations of the laws.

Consumers who suspect a scam or unfair business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.

Staff report

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