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article imageTelemarketers give up Van Gogh paintings, Bentleys in settlement

By Andrew Moran     Apr 4, 2010 in Business
A New Jersey-based telemarketing firm will pay more than $18 million in a settlement case where they were accused of duping consumers' donations to pay police and firefighters.
According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, a telemarketing firm in New Jersey will pay a record $18.8 million civil penalty over its scheme that made donors believe they were funding firefighter, police and veterans charities, reports the AP.
The FTC says the telemarketing firm, which has been identified as Civic Development Group LLG, told potential donors that its employees worked directly for the charities and that all of the money would go to the charities but neither was true.
“This scheme packed a one-two punch. It deceived the people who donated, and it siphoned much-needed funds from police, firefighters and veterans groups,” said the Director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck, reports Business Week.
The CDG LLG company is owned by David Keezer and Scott Pasch. As part of the settlement, reports NPR, Pasch will sell his $2 million home, $1.4 million paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, an $800,000 guitar collection, $270,000 wine collection, $117,000 jewellery and his one Bentley and three Mercedes. Keezer will give up his $2 million and his Bentley.
The FTC did not say how much money the company made off the donations but the settlement will also ban Keezer and Pasch from telemarketing and soliciting of charitable donations.
More about Telemarketing, Donations, Civic development group llc
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