Russ Whitney Settles with Florida Attorney General, Issues Refunds

Real estate seminar guru Russ Whitney’s Whitney Information Network has settled with a Florida attorney general who had been investigating consumer complaints. From the 8K filing:

On January 9, 2008, the Company entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (the “AVC”) with the Attorney General to close the investigation. The AVC was entered into without an admission or judicial determination that the Company violated any laws, rules or regulations.

Pursuant to the AVC, as required under applicable Federal Trade Commission and State rules and guidelines, the Company agreed to certain marketing practices and to make or continue to make certain disclosures and disclaimers to consumers regarding its seminars and training courses. The Attorney General acknowledged that the Company had already paid over approximately $580,000 in consumer refunds. Many of those refunds were made pursuant to the Company’s refund policy. The Company agreed in the AVC to make refunds in the additional amount of approximately $450,000 to certain consumers, and also set aside, in an escrow account, $125,000 for refunds for potential claims arising from sales prior to the execution of the AVC. The Company also agreed to make a payment to the Attorney General in the amount of $150,000 in satisfaction of the Attorney General’s investigative and attorney’s fees. No penalties were imposed on the Company under the AVC.

The Company also has made a contribution in the amount of $150,000 to the “Seniors vs. Crime, Inc.” project for educational, investigative and crime prevention programs for the benefit of senior citizens and the community as a whole, in connection with the delivery of the AVC.

A few years back Whitney sued John T. Reed for his criticism of the company’s dealings. The two parties eventually settled out of court.

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2 Responses to Russ Whitney Settles with Florida Attorney General, Issues Refunds

  1. poetryman69 says:

    at least the lawyers got paid. thats the real purpose in life. making sure lawyers and corporations get paid.

  2. Les Jones says:

    I’m as cynical as the next guy if the next guy is a twice-divorced cop with a Chrysler, but there was a heck of a lot of refund money involved in that settlement.