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Quad Cities telemarketers must pay $820,000 for fraud


Quad-City Times: A Scott County judge has ordered a Quad Cities-based telemarketing operation to pay a judgment of more than $820,000 for defrauding small business owners in at least 13 states, according to a release by the Iowa Attorney General. District Judge Mark Fowler found in the ruling that Misty Barnes, Paul Michael Barnes and their businesses had committed 19 violations of the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. In February 2020, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller sued the Barneses and their companies, PM Specialties and Milestone Consulting. The allegations included a range of violations, including cold-calling consumers and falsely saying they had past-due bills that needed immediate payment; selling nonexistent services; and making unauthorized charges to customers’ credit card accounts.

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