Firm Preyed on the Unemployed, State Says

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) – The Arthur Group and its CEO Barry Trimble preyed upon desperate job-seekers by charging thousands of dollars to post their resumes for so-called “executive-level positions” in a bait-and-switch scam, the Minnesota Attorney General says in Hennepin County Court.

     Attorney General Lori Swanson says Trimble, of Dellwood, Minn., and his Minneapolis-based company “took advantage of the desperation felt by many job seekers by promising that purchasing the Arthur Group’s resume and interview services would help them find and secure executive-level jobs.”
     Trimble charged “up to $4,500 for these services,” which were “false, deceptive, and misleading,” the state says.
     Arthur Group advertised openings for “executive-level positions” on Web sites such as CareerBuilder, and also called job-seekers who posted resumes on those sites, Swanson says.
     According to the complaint: The Arthur Group scheduled interviews with candidates, then told them the position was no longer available. Arthur told the disappointed applicant to return with his or her spouse to meet Trimble, who would persuade the person to become a “featured candidate” by buying interview and resume services, a “career blueprint,” and “priority access” to job listings, for up to $4,500.
     Trimble promised the candidates would get refunds when they got jobs, which he promised would be within 6 months, according to the complaint. Trimble allegedly told one person that his firm had a 100 percent placement rate.
But once he got the money, Trimble offered little or no help at all, Swanson says. One man who paid $1,695 for “Executive Interview Skills Training” received only a 15-minute taped interview, Swanson says.
     Arthur never revealed the names of the companies it allegedly worked with and never provided listings, “which led some consumers to question whether the jobs actually existed,” Swanson says.
     Arthur employees ignored or denied requests for refunds, and Trimble actually sent one man a bill for $1,000 instead, the state says.
Arthur closed down in August. Swanson seeks an injunction, restitution, and penalties for consumer fraud and deceptive trade.

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