March 31, 2010; Business Week | The Federal Trade Commission levied a record setting $18.8 million fine against a New Jersey based telemarketing group, Civic Development Group, LLC which raised funds for charities associated with service people—military veterans, firefighters and police. The charity claimed that 100 percent of donors’ gifts would go to the charity. In reality the charities received only 10 to 15 percent.
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David Keezer and Scott Pasch, the owners, will be relinquishing at least a portion of their ill-gotten gains. From the article, “Pasch will surrender a $2 million home, paintings by Van Gogh and Picasso with a combined worth of $1.4 million, an $800,000 guitar collection, $270,000 from the sale of his wine collection, $117,000 in jewelry, three Mercedes and a Bentley. Keezer will lose his $2 million home and vehicles including a Bentley, the FTC said.” Excuse the hyperbole but there must be a special place in hell.—Ruth McCambridge