Miami Federal Judge Enters Temporary Restraining Order in FTC Action Against World Patent Marketing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MIAMI FEDERAL JUDGE ENTERS TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER IN FTC ACTION AGAINST WORLD PATENT MARKETING
GJB Shareholder Jonathan Perlman Appointed Receiver
MIAMI, FL (March 15, 2017) – Last week, Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered and subsequently unsealed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) sought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 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 temporary receiver. Perlman will assume full control of the corporate entities and is tasked with managing and investigating their affairs.
According to the FTC, 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 an excess of $10 million dollars. The FTC asserts the defendants never intended, nor had the capability, to provide the invention promotion services and patents promised.
The FTC’s complaint alleges that the defendants’ sales team promised consumer inventors a patent and lucrative licensing, manufacturing, and distribution agreements that would allow them to profit from their inventions if they bought the defendants’ invention-promotion services. The FTC alleges further that defendants’ promises were false and deceptive and, as a result, virtually none of the consumers made money and many ended up in debt or losing their life savings.
The complaint states that defendants’ deceptive and unfair sales promises to consumers were aided by a deceptive website and marketing materials that created the false impression that defendants had helped other inventors become successful. For example, the defendants featured “success stories” of inventions they had purportedly successfully promoted and favorable supposed testimonials from inventors on World Patent Marketing’s website, which the FTC claims were bogus. In all, defendants are said to have gone to great lengths to hide their deceptive acts from potential customers, consumer groups, and law enforcement, including using threats of criminal prosecution against dissatisfied customers.
“I am pleased to be able to assist the court and consumers in this matter,” said Perlman. “We will conduct a complete investigation and make recommendations to the Court on how best to proceed on behalf of consumers and others that may have dealt with the defendants.”
Perlman is represented by attorneys John Arrastia, Jesus M. Suarez, and Heather H. Harmon, 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 overseeing the liquidation of assets from the Creative Capital Ponzi scheme orchestrated by South Florida resident George Theodule, who is presently incarcerated. Perlman is also the receiver over Hispanic Global Way and its affiliates, entities that advertised and sold weight loss products using deceptive and unfair means.
Defendants are expected before the court on April 6 to show cause as to why the court should not enter a preliminary injunction enjoining the violations of law alleged in the FTC complaint, continuing the freeze of assets and the receivership, and imposing such additional relief as may be appropriate.
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.