It was one year ago today that I first blogged about “Rachel at Cardholder Services.” Little did I know that single post would morph into seven posts including today’s.
As a professional in the telecommunications world, I had become acutely aware of Rachel based on the number of complaints I was getting from my clients. I also was aware of Rachel for the more than seven years I lived and worked in Houston, by having four phones on my desk, and getting calls from Rachel on every one of them (despite only one number being published) as well as my home and cell phones.
Those events led me to start investigating Rachel, between talking to live agents (of course giving them bad information when I couldn’t avoid skirting around their questions) to many hours of Internet research. What resulted from that research is what has already been put on this site.
When the four-part series ran in May/June, I named nine companies that were clearly involved with Rachel. At the time, only one, Castle Rock Capital Management, was charged with violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
That changed in November 2012. In late October, the Federal Trade Commission (Press Release), Department of Justice, and the Attorney Generals in Arizona, Arkansas and Florida filed 15 cases against various companies (FTC summary of all cases) as part of a wide-spread crackdown. The five cases being led by the FTC and DOJ all received Temporary Restraining orders and had the businesses assets frozen, pending litigation.
One of the targets of this sweep, Ambrosia Web Design of Mesa Arizona, was one of the companies mentioned in my series, and as I suspected, two other companies in my list were alias companies of Ambrosia. In fact, each of the defendants in these cases carried a number of “doing business as” aliases – obviously an effort to further hide their “business” from law enforcement agencies.
What happens next?
The five companies that the FTC targeted directly:
- A+ Financial Center, LLC, d/b/a Accelerated Financial Centers, LLC; Accelerated Accounting Services, LLC. (complaint / restraining order)
- Ambrosia Web Design, LLC, d/b/a AWD; Concord Financial Advisors, LLC; CAM Services Direct, LLC; AFB, LLC; Western GPS, LLC (complaint / restraining order)
- The Green Savers, LLC, d/b/a Elite Services; Advanced Data Solutions (complaint / restraining order)
- ELH Consulting, LLC, d/b/a Proactive Planning Solutions; Purchase Power Solutions, LLC; Allied Corporate Connection, LLC; Complete Financial Strategies, LLC; 3Point14 Consulting, LLC; Elite Planning Group; Key Tech Software Solutions, LLC; Key One Solutions (complaint / restraining order)
- WV Universal Management, LLC, d/b/a Treasure Your Success; Global Financial Assist, LLC; Leading Production, LLC (complaint / restraining order)
Have all been served with temporary restraining orders, and assets frozen. This means they are effectively out of business until they appear in court.
The state of Arizona is pursuing a separate case against ELH Consulting, et al, for violations of state law.
Arkansas’ Attorney General really stepped up to the plate, filing five Federal cases there:
- Associated Accounting Specialists, Inc
- Business First Solutions, Inc; WV Universal Management, LLC.
- Financial Ladder, Inc.
- Financial Management Partners, Inc.
- Kenneth Sallies
Florida filed four cases, including many arrests for “unlicensed telemarketing”:
- Card Services, a/k/a M&M Financial
- Omega Debt, Inc.
- JMK Concepts, LLC
- The Green Savers, LLC
All of these cases will have their day in court in the coming months. I will continue to check in. I also suspect that more cases could be coming, as the state cases reach Federal courts.
What about Castle Rock Capital Management?
According to a case search, the FTC and Castle Rock Capital Management entered into a “consent decree” on November 26, 2012, effectively ending their case. Details of the settlement were not available.
I suspect that the case ended with Castle Rock Capital Management, and Roy M. Cox being banned from operating a telemarketing operation. Only time will tell if Cox and other parties in the case don’t try this again.
Is this really the end of “Rachel at Cardholder Services”?
While obviously the number of restraining orders arrests and other court actions has seriously put a dent in the volume of these calls, only time will tell if Rachel is dead or not. Based on the number of people still reading the Rachel series here at On The Spot Blog, I doubt she is gone.
I suspect there will be an 8th post about “Rachel” at some point in the future…