Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Jeremy Johnson case may force regulators to show their hand
Courts » Defense attorneys dispute Federal Trade Commission’s evidence, tactics in I Works lawsuit.

< Previous Page

"They don’t have a single consumer," she said, "who’s actually complaining about it."

By alleging all I Works products were fraudulent, Porter added, the FTC persuaded a judge to close the operation.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

While some problems emerged early at I Works with improperly disclosed terms of sales, the defendants’ attorneys say, the company fixed the errors, especially after it began following the agency’s own guidelines spelled out at a 2007 conference attended by Johnson and others.

A main FTC complaint is that I Works advertised it could help consumers get government grants for personal expenses, none of which existed. But the memo argues the government relies on a narrow grant definition and ignores the availability of private grants that also were advertised.

Even so, defense attorneys argue, government grants are available for education, home improvements, rental assistance, car repairs, medical needs, phone bills, energy savings and more.

The defense memo also attempts to counter the FTC’s contention that Johnson directed others to create "shell companies" to continue to process consumer payments after credit card companies and banks began to cut off I Works because of high chargeback rates.

But Kelly Macfarlane, an attorney working with Porter, said Johnson’s involvement was fully disclosed as the guarantor of the accounts for those companies, the formation of which is standard practice for Internet sellers.

"There was not a single dollar lost [by banks]," Macfarlane said. "It was the largest fraud case in the history of the world that had no damages."

While Porter said defense attorneys were commenting only about the FTC lawsuit, the question of fraud involving banks is at the heart of the criminal case against Johnson and the four others.

If Porter succeeds against the government’s motion for summary judgment and the civil case goes to trial, it could be the first real challenge to the FTC’s litigation strategy, the memo says.

story continues below
story continues below

"This case," Porter wrote, "thus presents a rare instance in which the FTC’s evidence is actually being tested."


Twitter: @TomHarveySltrib

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.