DA Foulston Reaches Settlement In Marketing Scam

District Attorney, Nola Tedesco Foulston, is pleased to announce completion of an investigation involving a nationwide marketing company, US Work Alliance, Inc., a Georgia Corporation d/b/a Exam Services, and one of its principals.

In documents filed with the District court, the District Attorney alleged the company violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, by deceptively soliciting consumers to purchase postal exam preparatory materials after falsely implying such materials would help consumers obtain jobs with the United States Postal Service.

The District Attorney reached a settlement requiring Defendants to pay $90,000 in restitution to approximately 781 Sedgwick County consumers at an average recovery of $119 each.

Specifically, the District Attorney alleged that Defendants placed advertisements under the “Employment and Business Opportunity” section of local papers, such as the “Penny Power,” announcing purported job placement opportunities along with various other representations regarding salary, benefits and vacation associated with a job opening with the United States Postal Service. The ads also invited consumers to call an 800 number and provide a reference number when inquiring.

When consumers called this number, Defendants utilized a telephone script asking for a reference code from the advertisement, the consumer’s name, and whether the consumer would be willing to take a drug test before starting work. Once a consumer answered the questions and indicated a willingness to submit to a drug test, they were told, “Congratulations, you are eligible for positions with the United States Postal Service.” Defendants did not disclose they had no affiliation with the United States Postal Service and could not actually place applicants with the Postal Service.

Utilizing the phone scripts, Defendants led consumers to believe they were eligible for a position with the Postal Service and that it would provide materials to help them gain such employment, including exam preparation materials. Defendants charged consumers $119.45 for preparation materials that had the appearance of coming from the Postal Service, as the booklet was blue and white with a postage stamp and American Flag as symbols, and titled “Postal Battery Exam Study Guide.” preparatory materials. Defendants’ materials were similar to other postal exam preparatory materials available in book stores for significantly less money and from the United Postal Service for free.

The District Attorney’s Office is sending letters out to consumers who are eligible to receive a refund. If you do not receive a letter and believe you may have been a victim of this business, please contact Charles Rutter, Prosecuting Attorney, or Andrea Souders, Senior Investigator, assigned to the case at (316) 660-3600.

Remember, the alleged misrepresentations were made over an approximate two year time period, from January 2005 to October 2007. Consumers purchasing materials before or after these dates would not be eligible under the terms of the settlement. Furthermore, any consumer making a claim under this settlement must provide proof of purchase of such materials from U.S. Work Alliance and have received no refund/credit from the company, bank, or credit card issuer.

If you think you have been a victim of a scam, please call the District Attorney’s Office at 316-660-3653.

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