For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: August 29, 2007
Attorney General Gains Partial Refunds for Consumers in “Work-At Home” Solicitation
(Boise) - A Boise company that sold work-at-home educational materials will pay consumers $30,825 in restitution, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The legal settlement resolves allegations that Building Wealth Institute, LLC (BWI), violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act.
Wasden said 11 consumers will receive payments of between $565 and $11,995. Restitution notices have already been sent to eligible consumers.
Consumers who filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office reported that they purchased educational materials after receiving high pressure telephone solicitations from BWI. The materials purportedly taught consumers how to collect third-party liens and judgments and how to assist other consumers with settling their debts. BWI charged some consumers as much as $21,000 for these materials and for personal coaching.
Consumers described an attraction to BWI’s advertisements, which claimed they could make a substantial income from home or get paid a substantial fee for simple work. However, consumers complained that BWI’s ads and telephone solicitations failed to disclose the complexity of judgment collection. Consumers also complained that BWI failed to disclose that consumers may not even earn enough money to pay for the cost of the purchased materials.
“If you receive a phone call from a high-pressure solicitor who claims he’s offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity or that you are crazy for not taking a chance, hang up,” Attorney General Wasden said. “Don’t believe ads or solicitors claiming you will make money by sitting at home or by just working a few hours a week. It’s just too good to be true.”
Without admitting any liability, BWI, which cooperated with Wasden’s office during the investigation, agreed to refund a portion of the money that each consumer spent on their materials and to pay the Attorney General’s fees of $2,008. BWI also agreed to change its advertising, telephone solicitation and refund policies if it continues operating in Idaho.
BWI’s main office is located in Carson City, Nevada, although BWI’s managers operate from a Boise address, which is the address provided to BWI’s customers.
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