A Utah real estate training company has settled with the FTC after being accused of “falsely promising” to sell its courses.
Response Marketing LLC Ordered to Pay $16.7 Million in Monday’s Settlement with the FTC and Utah Department of Consumer Protection KSL ReportInvestigators say it is the largest consumer settlement in state history.
Celebrity spokespeople have also agreed to pay dearly for their roles in alleged campaigns. Scott Yancey of A&E’s “Flipping Vegas” will pay $450,000, while motivational podcaster Dean Graziosi will pay $1.25 million.
The alleged activity began with a predecessor company in the early 2010s. It didn’t stop until December 2019, when formal complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Utah Department of Consumer Protection.
According to the Utah Department of Consumer Protection, responsive marketing works by using television commercials and social media ads to lure consumers to free events across the country. There, consumers were allegedly marketed to three-day, $1,000 seminars, boasting that the programs would provide “special tools” to make consumers successful real estate investors.
Response Marketing also promoted more expensive training programs that cost tens of thousands, according to the complaint. At one point, it allegedly promoted a coaching program called “Inner Circle,” which could cost another $30,000.
According to the complaint, however, Response Marketing made false promises. Many have failed to become successful real estate investors and many have failed to recover the money they lost with the company.
According to the FTC, the owner of Response Marketing and its president are prohibited from selling “wealth-creating” products and services nationwide.
So far, $1.7 million has been recovered from the lawsuit, leaving $15 million to be returned to consumers. If Response Marketing fails to make that payment, it also owes $15 million to the Utah Department of Consumer Protection.
— holden warner