LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is partnering with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in filing a lawsuit against a company for allegedly promoting and operating an illegal pyramid scheme in Arkansas and nationwide since June 2020.
Rutledge and the FTC allege that BINT Operations, and its officers LaShonda and Marlon Deandre Moore, solicited money from customers, specifically in African American communities, promising an 800% return on their investment.
The minimum for consumers required to participate was $1,400, but some paid as much as $67,700. No products or services were ever offered in exchange for the payment, only the promise of earning more money.
The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).
“This lawsuit is a continuation of my office’s law enforcement sweep against illegal pyramid schemes organized or operating in Arkansas,” said Rutledge. “My office will not stand by and allow scammers to exploit Arkansas’s tight-knit communities or financial fears to deceive consumers into falling for get-rich-quick schemes.”
The Moores claimed that participating in BINT, or “Blessings in No Time,” would permit members to achieve financial freedom and generational wealth and promoted BINT as a community-oriented program that was a safe, lucrative investment.
When new participants stopped joining and the defendants started using consumers’ money as their own, consumers lost the money that was contributed, according to the lawsuit. The Moores allegedly then prohibited participants from posting anything concerning the BINT scheme online or on social media, which prevented injured consumers from alerting other would-be participants.
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants from violating the FTC Act, the CRFA, and the ADTPA.
Each of the defendants face a $10,000 fine for each violation of the ADTPA.