|August 24, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi this week obtained a court order temporarily shutting down a tech support company that, along with its owners, allegedly deceived consumers out of more than $25 million. The scam operated as Client Care Experts, formerly known as First Choice Tech Support, LLC, and is owned by CEO Michael Seward and his partner, Kevin McCormick. The defendants ran the tech support scam out of a boiler room in Boynton Beach and employed more than 200 telemarketers at the location.
The order follows an effort by defendants to dissolve an earlier order obtained by Attorney General Bondi’s Office that temporarily shut down the business, froze the defendants’ assets to preserve funds for consumer restitution and appointed a receiver to oversee the operation through the conclusion of the case. This week, the court denied the defendants’ motion to dissolve and kept the previous order in place pending the final judgment.
“Floridians rely on computers to communicate with family and friends, make purchases and conduct business, and when scammers target these devices they can scare and frustrate consumers, especially our seniors. That is why we are working diligently to identify and stop tech scams targeting Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Attorney General Bondi’s original complaint alleges that the defendants used deceptive marketing tactics to create alarming pop-up windows on consumers’ computers claiming computers were infected. The pop-up warnings directed consumers to contact a toll-free number that connected to the defendants’ boiler room. Once connected to the boiler room, unscrupulous sales agents, posing as computer technicians, claimed to conduct a computer diagnostic test that uncovered malware on the devices. The sales agents then convinced consumers to spend an average of $250 to fix the devices.
The complaint seeks an injunction barring the defendants from engaging in deceptive business practices, and also seeks full restitution for consumers harmed by the defendants’ activities. With the defendants’ motion to dissolve denied, the case will move forward.
To view the complaint, click here.
To view the court’s order of temporary injunction and asset freeze, click here.
To view the court order denying defendants’ motion to dissolve the injunction, click here.