Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Obtains Restraining Order Against Minnesota Company Selling Vending Machine Business Opportunity
Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today the filing of a civil lawsuit and the issuance of a restraining order against two Minnesota defendants who are charged with selling business opportunities without registering, in violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
National Snack Products, Inc., and Dennis Roberts offered Kentuckians a potential income of up to $50,000 per year for 4 to 6 hours work per week and an initial investment of $8,900. At least two Kentucky consumers spent over $13,000 each purchasing vending machines in response to the advertisement.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges sale of an unregistered business opportunity in violation of the Kentucky Business Opportunity statute, as well as unfair, false, misleading and deceptive trade practices in violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
A temporary restraining order was issued today by the Washington County Circuit Court. Judge Doughlas M. George ordered the defendants to cease from offering business opportunities in Kentucky and refrain from disposing of or concealing records or assets until further order of the Court.
“I am committed to protecting the public from the operators of get-rich-quick scams,” said Attorney General Greg Stumbo. “Legitimate business opportunities requiring an investment over $500 are required to register with my office, provide a bond and disclosure documents. People need to remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General and the FTC suggest consumers follow these tips before investing in any new business venture or work-at-home opportunity:
Does the ad promise big money for little effort? Fraudulent ads use similar bait: Fast cash. Minimal work. No risk. And the advantage of being your own boss or working from home.
Before promoters can accept money from potential investors, the law requires that they give investors important disclosure documents. If the promoter does not make the document readily available, interested consumers should find another opportunity.
Talk to current investors, but beware of paid “shills,” who work for the company. Visit other business sites in person. And get professional advice if you need it. Do not lose your life savings just because you did not spend a few hundred dollars to talk to a lawyer, an accountant, or another expert.
Consumers should visit the FTC’s Web site at www.ftc.gov/bizopps or www.ftc.gov/workathome for information in both English and Spanish to help identify and avoid business opportunity scams.
Anyone who has purchased a vending machine business opportunity from Dennis Roberts or National Snack Products is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at 1-888-432-9257.