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9th Circuit Backs FTC|In Deceptive Trade Case

(CN) - A Washington state-based company used deceptive trade practices when it claimed to teach customers how to make thousands of dollars a month in their spare time, the 9th Circuit ruled.

John Stefancik wrote a book called "Wealth Without Boundaries," in which he described his method for making money by buying and selling privately held mortgages.

He also sold a training program for $3,000 to $8,000 to teach the method.

The Federal Trade Commission sued Stefancik and his Beringer Corp. for falsely claiming that customers could make thousands of dollars quickly and easily.

The FTC presented evidence in district court that "individual customers purchased the program, only to find that the method was extremely time-consuming and yielded little, if any, profit."

Also, the coaches Stefancik provided for his customers "lacked basic knowledge of the real estate industry and were unable to help the consumers with questions."

In the absence of substantial evidence of success presented by Stefancik, the district court granted summary judgment to the FTC. Judge Reavley of the San Francisco-based federal appeals court affirmed the decision.

"The marketing materials made misrepresentations in a manner likely to mislead reasonable consumers," Reavley wrote.

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