FTC Returns More Than $2.6 Million to Small Businesses Targeted by Office Supply Scheme

FTC Returns More Than $2.6 Million to Small Businesses Targeted by Office Supply Scheme

(DECEMBER 17, 2019) The FTC is mailing refund checks totaling more than $2.6 million to small businesses who lost money to a New York-based office supply scam operated by a business known as A-1 Janitorial.

The refunds are the result of the FTC’s 2017 suit against the operators of the scheme. The FTC alleged that the defendants called small businesses throughout the United States and Canada, offered a free sample of a cleaning product or other office supply, shipped the sample to those businesses, and then billed them for the full cost of the product, even when the businesses refused to accept the product.

The FTC alleged that the defendants’ invoices typically named an employee in the targeted business or organization, which led many recipients to pay because they thought the employee had ordered the products. When recipients paid, the defendants often shipped and billed for additional unordered products.

The FTC will be sending 30,374 checks averaging $86 to victims of the alleged scheme. The checks will expire after 60 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC urges people to cash the checks before they expire. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check. - (FTC)