Six years ago the FTC sued Jeremy Johnson, his company IWorks, nine other individuals and 61 other related shell corporations that were offering “free” or “trial” memberships in programs they said would provide free information about government grants and money-making products.  When their victims signed up for the free or trial memberships, they were asked to provide a credit card or debit card number for a one time shipping and handling charge, but what Johnson and the other defendants did was keep charging monthly fees to their victims without the knowledge or permission of their victims to the tune of more than 280 million dollars.  Now Johnson, members of his family involved in the scam and 26 of the involved corporations have settled these charges with the FTC and are turning over to the FTC millions of dollars in bank accounts, real estate, jewelry, stock, airplanes real estate and other assets to be applied toward repaying the victims.  Three remaining defendants will be going on trial in October.  Once all of the cases are completed, the FTC will begin to refund money to the victims of this scam and when that happens, I will let you know how to get your refund if you were one of the victims.

TIPS

Never give out your credit card number or debit card number to anyone for anything that is supposed to be free.  You also don’t need to pay for information about how to get government grants and there is not charge for applying for a federal grant.   People looking for legitimate information about grants, loans and other financial aid information for higher education can go to the federal government’s website http://www.StudentAid.ed.gov.   Information about federal loans for housing, disaster relief, education and veterans benefits can be found at the federal government’s website http://www.GovLoans.gov.  Finally For information about  a range of other federal benefits for which you may be eligible, you can go the federal government’s website http://www.Benefits.gov.