FTC, Minnesota AG Sue Sellers Playbook Over 'Get Rich Scheme'

FTC, Minnesota AG Sue Sellers Playbook Over 'Get Rich Scheme' Photo: Wikimedia Commons

August 06, 2018 09:30 PM

The Federal Trade Commission and the Minnesota Attorney General's Office are suing a Minnesota-based company for allegedly running what they call a "get rich scheme."

According to a release from the Attorney General's Office, the suit -- filed against Sellers Playbook Inc., Exposure Marketing Company, Jessie Conners Tieva and Matthew R. Tieva -- alleges the company lured customers by claiming they could earn thousands of dollars per month selling products on Amazon.

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The system sold by Sellers Playbook promised to "perfect the individual's ability to sell on Amazon effectively and profitably," the suit states, and would help users get a "piece of the $400 Billion Amazon Pie."

The release states the company used "false and unsubstantiated claims," like make "$20,000 a month" and "Potential Net Profit: $1,287,463.38."

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These claims were unrealistic for most customers, the Attorney General's Office alleges.

The suit alleges the defendants took more than $15 million from customers, with many consumers paying more than $32,000.

The U.S. District Court in Minnesota has halted Sellers Playbook's operations until the suit is resolved.

According to the release, Jessie Tieva and Exposure Marketing Company were previously involved in a similar scheme, known as FBA Stores, which was shut down by the FTC in March, though they were not defendants in the FBA Stores case.

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In that case, FBA's key operators were banned from selling business opportunities and business coaching services and required to surrender nearly $11 million for return to customers, the release states.

In the Sellers Playbook suit, the defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act, the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Consumer Review Fairness Act.

The defendants are unaffiliated with Amazon. 

Amazon sent the following statement: 

The entrepreneurs and small businesses selling on Amazon are incredibly important to us and our customers, and we aggressively pursue those that attempt to harm their selling experience. We invest heavily to protect the integrity of our stores and take action to protect customers and sellers, including working with consumer protection agencies and law enforcement. We have zero tolerance for fraud and abuse and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement to pursue criminals.

Credits

Anthony Brousseau

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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