Samuel James Smith has settled FTC Act and Telemarketing Sales Rule violations with the FTC.

As per a May 28th filed consent judgment, Smith has agreed to a $7.5 million judgment.

The FTC filed suit against Smith and accomplices Bob Shafer and Charles Garis back in January.

Smith and Shafer ran Blueprint to Wealth, which the FTC describes as

a sprawling business opportunity scheme that has taken in millions of dollars from consumers with bogus promises of huge returns.

As per Smith’s consent judgment, which was approved by the court on May 31st, he’s permanently banned from

  • having anything to do with “any money making method”, including acting as a webmaster or electronic data host;
  • assisting anyone else with having anything to do with “any money making method”;
  • initiating or helping others initiate “any outbound telephone call that delivers a prerecorded message”;
  • “using prerecorded messages to answer any inbound telephone call” for the purpose of marketing or advertising;
  • owning or having a financial interest in a business that has anything to do with prerecorded messages as per the above two points;
  • misrepresenting to consumers about potential income, the costs of advertised good and services, refund, cancellation and repurchase details, investment risks and any restrictions related to an offer; and
  • making misrepresentations about revenue, earnings, profit or income

Smith’s consent order defines a “money making method” as;

any method, process, or technique that is offered, offered for sale, or sold, based wholly or in part on representations, either express or implied, that such method, process, or technique is non-generic or not generally available to the public, and will generate income for users or prospective purchasers.

On the money side of things Smith is up for $7.5 million, to be paid jointly with co-defendants Shafer and Garis.

Smith’s share will consist of $3000, to be paid from a Zions Bank account in Smith’s name. Based on financial representations to the FTC by Smith, the remainder of his monetary judgment liability is suspended.

Finally Smith is also subject to ten years of compliance reporting.

$3000 out of a $7.5 million judgment is peanuts and I’m not quite sure how to read into that. Smith is the first defendant to settle with the FTC so I’m taking it as Shafer and Garis being much larger targets.

Perhaps anticipating Shafer and Garis going to trial, Smith’s judgment orders him to fully cooperate with and assist the FTC as required.