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Federal Trade Commission v. Make You Famous Consulting

February 10, 2010

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MAKE YOU FAMOUS CONSULTING, INC. DBA A PENBROOK PRODUCTIONS, PENBROOK PRODUCTIONS, AND PROCESS FROM HOME, AND MICHAEL ALLEN BROOKS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Percy Anderson United States District Judge

FINAL ORDER FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION AND MONETARY RELIEF

Plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission ("Commission" or "FTC"), filed a Complaint for a permanent injunction and other equitable relief against Defendants Make You Famous Consulting, Inc. and Michael Allen Brooks pursuant to Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 53(b). The Complaint alleges that Defendants engaged in acts and practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). The parties have agreed to the entry of this Stipulated Final Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Relief ("Order") in settlement of the Commission's Complaint. The Court, being advised of the premises, makes the following findings:

FINDINGS

1. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case and jurisdiction over all parties, and venue in the Central District of California is proper.

2. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted under Sections 5(a) and 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a) and 53(b), and the Commission has the authority to seek the relief it has requested.

3. The acts and practices of Defendants were in or affecting commerce, as defined in Section 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.

4. Defendants waive:

(a) all rights to seek review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Order;

(b) any claim Defendants may have against the Commission, its employees, representatives, or agents;

(c) all claims under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412, as amended by Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 847, 863-64; and

(d) any rights to attorneys' fees that may arise under said provision of law.

5. The Defendants stipulate and agree to this Order, without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, to settle and resolve all matters alleged in the Complaint to the date of entry of this Order. Defendants do not admit any of the allegations set forth in the Complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, and deny any and all wrongdoing.

6. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorneys' fees.

7. Entry of this Order is in the public interest.

DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this Order, the following definitions shall apply:

1. "Individual Defendant" means Michael Allen Brooks, individually and in his capacity as an officer of Make You Famous Consulting, Inc.

2. "Corporate Defendant" means Make You Famous Consulting, Inc. doing business as A Penbrook Productions, Penbrook Productions, and Process from Home, and its successors and assigns.

3. "Defendants" means the Individual Defendant and the Corporate Defendant, individually, collectively, or in any combination.

4. "Providing assistance to others" includes, but is not limited to, providing any of the following services to any person or entity:

a. Performing customer service functions, including receiving or responding to customer complaints;

b. Drafting or supplying or arranging for the drafting of or supplying of a telephone sales script, web page, online offer, or other written marketing material;

c. Furnishing names of potential customers or helping collect their names;

d. Performing marketing services of any kind;

e. Providing credit card merchant processing accounts, or otherwise providing access to a billing and collection system (such as a credit card, checking, savings, or similar account, or debit card) or causing any charges to be made to such an account or utilizing such a system; or

f. Acting as an officer or director of, or a consultant to, a business entity.

5. "Business Opportunity Rule" means the FTC Trade Regulation Rule titled "Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Business Opportunities," codified at 16 C.F.R. Part 437, or as it may be amended.

6. "Business Venture" means any written or oral business arrangement, however denominated, that is covered by the Franchise Rule or the Business Opportunity Rule, or that consists of the payment of any consideration in exchange for:

a. The right or means to offer, sell, or distribute goods or services (regardless of whether identified by a trademark, service mark, trade name, advertising, or other commercial symbol); and

b. More than nominal assistance, or the promise of more than nominal assistance, to any person or entity (including, but not limited to, referrals to any persons providing or promising location services), in connection with or incident to: (1) the establishment, maintenance, or operation of a new business, or (2) the entry by an existing business into a new line or type of business.

7. "Franchise Rule" means the FTC Trade Regulation Rule titled "Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising," codified at 16 C.F.R. Part 436, or as it may be amended.

8. "Work-at-Home Opportunity" means a plan, program, product, or service represented to enable participants or purchasers to earn money while working from home.

9. "Winding up" of a corporation means, for purposes of this Order, the orderly cessation of all corporate activities, the dissolution of the referenced corporation as permitted by and in compliance with the bylaws of the corporation and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the corporate entity is incorporated, and the provision to the Commission of the reports and/or accounting described in Section III.B.4 below.

10. The terms "and" and "or" in this Order shall be construed conjunctively or disjunctively as necessary, to make the applicable sentence or phrase inclusive rather than exclusive.

I. PROHIBITED BUSINESS ACTIVITIES

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants, whether acting directly or indirectly through any corporation, partnership, subsidiary, division, agent, or other device, and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all other persons or entities in active concert or participation with any of them who receive actual notice of this Order by personal service or otherwise, are hereby restrained and enjoined:

A. In connection with the marketing, advertising, promotion, distribution, offer for sale, or sale of any Work-at-Home Opportunity or Business Venture:

1. From misrepresenting or providing assistance to others in misrepresenting, expressly or by implication, any material fact including, ...


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