For press inquiries or to schedule an interview with the Attorney General please contact:
503-378-6002 or Jeff.D.Manning@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that a former Hood River company marketing a medical ID card work-at-home scheme has agreed to give refunds to all consumers requesting them and is permanently out-of-business in Oregon. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance are Medicard Associates, Home Employment Opportunities and United Financial Group and owner Gordon Schultz, formerly of Hood River and now living in Sequim, Washington.
"Rarely have we found a work-at-home scheme that is truthfully marketed to consumers," Myers said. "Most of these types of business opportunities exaggerate potential earnings, promise training that is never provided and advertise money back guarantees that never materialize."
Department of Justice investigators reviewed at least 33 complaints from out-of-state consumers who paid $35 to $55 for kits to sell and fabricate medical ID cards. The company advertised "immediate openings" for what appeared to be jobs "processing and assembling" medical identification cards from home, making from $300-$575 a week. No experience was necessary because training would supposedly be provided.
In fact, investigators found the company was marketing business opportunities that required the consumers to start their own business by purchasing a laminating machine and supplies and finding customers to buy the cards. No training was provided, earnings were greatly exaggerated and requests for refunds from consumers were ignored unless the request came from the Attorney General's office.
The respondents have ten days to make refunds requested by consumers and are permanently prohibited from operating a work-at-home business in Oregon. Schultz paid $1,000 to the Department of Justice consumer protection and education fund.
Consumers wanting information about work-at-home schemes may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) and toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Information also is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
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