Business

$10M in refunds issued to over 4,000 consumers so far in statewide real estate scam

The lawsuit expanded to include two prominent figures in the real estate world, Scott Yancey, who has real estate developments in Park City, and Dean R. Graziosi, know for his "Millionaire Success Habits." Graziosi and Yancey settled by agreeing to contribute an extra $1.7 million towards the compensation fund.

SALT LAKE CITY — In a landmark action for consumer justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun issuing refunds totaling over $10 million to consumers who were deceived by a real estate investment training scheme. This scheme falsely promised substantial profits from flipping houses, leading many to spend money on training programs that failed to deliver.

The FTC, in collaboration with the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Commerce’s Division of Consumer Protection, filed a lawsuit in Nov. 2019 against Response Marketing Group, LLC, its affiliates Nudge, LLC, and BuyPD, LLC, along with their key executives.

The lawsuit expanded to include two prominent figures in the real estate world, Scott Yancey, who has real estate developments in Park City, and Dean R. Graziosi. Both are known for their roles in promoting questionable training programs. The complaint alleged that these individuals were complicit in suppressing negative online feedback from customers who felt cheated by the promises made by Response Marketing.

Margaret Busse, the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce, made it clear that deceptive practices undermining financial security and trust have no place in Utah’s economy. “Companies that rely on deceitful or manipulative tactics to earn money will not be tolerated in Utah as it not only undermines people’s financial security but also the very trust we have in each other that is crucial to our #1 ranked economy,” she said. Busse praised the collaborative effort that led to restitution for affected consumers and urged due diligence in future consumer decisions.

Douglas Crapo, Director of White Collar & Commercial Enforcement at the Utah Office of the Attorney General, highlighted the importance of the refunds in mitigating some of the damages caused by Response Marketing and its affiliates. “Checks for the first ten million dollars are in the mail. This helps heal at least some of the harm caused at the hands of Response Marketing and the other defendants,” Crapo said, emphasizing the role of consumer protection in maintaining a trustworthy economy.

As part of the settlement, Response Marketing and its principals are permanently banned from offering “wealth creation” products and services nationwide, with a $15 million payment allocated for consumer refunds. Additionally, Graziosi and Yancey settled by agreeing to contribute an extra $1.7 million towards the compensation fund.

 

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The FTC is disbursing payments to 4,670 consumers, primarily through mailed checks. Those without a current address on record will receive their refunds via PayPal, which must be claimed within 30 days. The FTC also issued claim notices to nearly 400 individuals who had previously filed complaints against Response Marketing. Eligible consumers still have the opportunity to submit claims for refunds.

For any questions regarding the payment or claims process, consumers are directed to contact the refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 877-871-0474 or visit the FTC website. Importantly, the FTC reminds the public that it does not require payment or account information from consumers to issue refunds.

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