Arizona's attorney general has shut down three related telemarketing companies that bilked $750,000 from seniors with Alzheimer's and other memory-related conditions by claiming to represent veterans charities, The Arizona Republic reports.
Authorities said employees of Phoenix call centers posed as ex-service members and used high-pressure tactics to get elderly people to buy everyday items such as lightbulbs and trash bags at enormous mark-ups, saying the money would support veterans groups. None of the money went to charity.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office reached a settlement with Robert Foster, the firms' owner, on Oct. 30, a week after the state filed a lawsuit alleging misrepresentation and false claims. As part of a consent judgment, Mr. Foster admitted to violating state consumer-protection and solicitation laws and targeting vulnerable seniors. He was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation and is barred from engaging in telemarketing for two years.