FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cindi Perantoni, [email protected]
Cristina Bermudez, [email protected]
MIAMI FEDERAL JUDGE ENTERS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION IN FTC ACTION AGAINST WORLD PATENT MARKETING FOR FRAUDULENT AND DECEPTIVE ACTS IN INVENTION-PROMOTION SCHEME
GJB Shareholder Jonathan Perlman Appointed Permanent Receiver
MIAMI, FL (August 25, 2017) – Last week, in an action sought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a preliminary injunction order halting the operations and freezing the assets of Miami-based World Patent Marketing and Desa Industries, as well as those of their CEO, Scott Cooper.
The court’s order also appointed Jonathan E. Perlman, shareholder at Miami-based Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. (GJB), as permanent receiver. Perlman assumed control of the corporate entities earlier this year when Judge Gayles initially entered a Temporary Restraining Order against the defendants, also sought by the FTC. As receiver, Perlman is tasked with managing and investigating the affairs of the defendants and with taking necessary action to protect consumers.
In its 53-page preliminary injunction order, the Court concluded that “the record supports a preliminary finding that defendants devised a fraudulent scheme to use consumer funds to enrich themselves.” The order further supports a finding “that defendants made a series of misrepresentations to consumers – many of which defendants concede were false – and that these misrepresentations influenced consumers decisions to purchase defendants services.”
The order further outlines the numerous misrepresentations made by the defendants to potential aspiring inventors to induce them to purchase WPM services, including false associations with major retailers, fictitious partnerships and advisory boards, its ability to obtain a “globally applicable patent for customers, and false testimonials and success stories that defendants had successfully marketed and negotiated licensing and manufacturing agreements for customers’ inventions in the past. The court also found that even after customers made initial investments, defendants continued making misrepresentations to induce them to purchase more services and to make larger investments.
In March, the FTC filed a complaint for permanent injunction and a temporary restraining order alleging that the defendants defrauded and deceived aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs in an invention-promotion scam that began approximately in February of 2014 and bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars. The FTC asserts the defendants never intended, nor had the capability, to provide the invention promotion services and patents promised, and lured consumer inventors to purchase its invention-promotion services through deceptive marketing, including bogus “success stories” of inventions they had purportedly successfully promoted.
The receiver’s interim report to the court indicated that defendants received approximately $26 million from about 1,500 consumers. At the time Perlman was appointed, the receivership entities had approximately $350,000 in their bank accounts.
Perlman is represented by attorneys Jesus M. Suarez, Heather H. Harmon, and John Arrastia, also of Genovese Joblove & Battista. Perlman has served as a court-appointed receiver in numerous actions brought by federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the FTC. Currently, he is the court-appointed receiver over a massive debt relief operation that through a maze interrelated companies, including 321 Loans and Helping America Group, engaged in a debt relief scheme that defrauded 15,000 over $70 million. He is also overseeing the liquidation of assets from the Creative Capital Ponzi scheme orchestrated by South Florida resident George Theodule, who is presently incarcerated; and is serving as the receiver over Hispanic Global Way and its affiliates, entities that advertised and sold weight loss products using deceptive and unfair means.
Anyone having knowledge concerning the allegations in this case and financial affairs of the Receivership entities is encouraged to call the Receiver’s World Patent Marketing Receivership Hotline (1-844-879-7694) or send an email to [email protected]. Additional information can be found on the receiver’s website at www.WPMreceivership.com or on the FTC’s website.
About Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.
Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. (GJB) was established in 1999 by founding partners John H. Genovese, Michael D. Joblove, and Paul J. Battista. Today, GJB has grown steadily to become a major regional firm with offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and an affiliate office in Caracas, serving clients throughout the U.S. GJB attorneys are recognized for their experience representing clients in large and complex litigation in a number of areas, including bankruptcy, insolvency, receiverships, franchises, and general commercial matters, as well as white collar, real estate, employment law, class actions, and securities litigation. The firm and its affiliate, GJB Consulting, also counsel clients in local, state and federal government matters. For more information, visit www.gjb-law.com.