Consumers Were Told They Could Earn Income Through Online
A Utah man and three companies he controls have agreed to
settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they assisted a deceptive
work-at-home scheme that the FTC charged, in February 2014, with conning
millions of dollars from consumers. The scheme,
which did business as Coaching Department and Apply Knowledge, among
other names, falsely promised consumers they could earn thousands of
dollars a month by purchasing business coaching services. Consumers lost
thousands – sometimes tens of thousands – of dollars each.
Under the settlement
order announced today, Ken Sonnenberg, Apply Knowledge LLC, eVertex
Solutions LLC, and Supplier Source LLC are prohibited from making claims,
or assisting others in making claims, about likely earnings without
reliable, written substantiation. They are also barred from violating the
Telemarketing Sales Rule, and from misrepresenting endorsements, material
aspects of investment opportunities, and material facts, such as the total
purchase cost, performance characteristics, and any restrictions or
conditions on the use of a product or service. The order imposes a $500,000
judgement against the companies.
Under a related settlement
reached in June 2015, David Gregory Bevan was banned from selling
business coaching programs and prohibited from making false earnings
claims, misrepresenting investment opportunities and material facts about
any product or service, profiting from customers’ personal information, and
failing to dispose of it properly. A $32.3 million judgment against Bevan
was suspended upon payment of $116,871.19.
Litigation continues against six individuals and 11 corporate
The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order was
4-0. The order was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of
Utah on February 16, 2016.
NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force
of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.