Mail-Order Companies and Officers to Pay $600,000,
Agree Not to Violate FTC's Mail-Order Rule or
Misrepresent Merchandise, under Court Settlement

FTC News Release
August 13, 1987

The Federal Trade Commission today announced that seven mail-order companies and three individuals have agreed to pay $600,000 in civil penalties to settle FTC charges that they violated the FTC's mail-order rule. Under the settlement, approved in court yesterday, the companies and individuals also agreed to a permanent injunction that settles charges that they made misrepresentations in the sale of many nationally advertised products.

The stipulated permanent injunction settles a government suit against Sheldon Friedlich Marketing Inc., Rite Sales Inc., CM Electronics Inc., Philippe LaFrance/USA Ltd., Ashley Overseas Ltd., Direct Marketing Industries Inc., Perth Packaging Inc., and three individuals, Ira Smolev, Marc Platt, and Jack Sheingold. Charges are still pending against another individual and two companies.

In January 1985, the US Attorney, on behalf of the FTC, charged in a court complaint that the defendants misrepresented their nationally advertised mail-order products, ranging from copper cookware to ceiling fans, and also violated the FTC's mail-order rule.

Under the settlement, Smolev agreed to pay a civil penalty of $400,000 and Platt agreed to pay $200,000.

The companies and individuals agreed not to make misrepresentions in the future in connection with mail-order sales of any products, including copper cookware, china dishes, kitchen canisters, binoculars or field glasses, air conditioners or air coolers, kerosene lamps, or products to enhance sexual performance. In its 1985 complaint, the government had charged that the companies made "false or misleading claims" about those products.

In addition, the companies and individuals agreed not to violate the FTC's mail-order rule in the future. The complaint had charged that the companies failed to deliver merchandise on time, did not properly notify or offer consumers the right to cancel, and "in numerous instances" did not cancel orders or make prompt refunds to consumers.

The Department of Justice filed the settlement in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in New York City, at the FTC's request.

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This page was posted on August 27, 2006.

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