This is taken from the Chicago Sun-Times verbatim -
As you can see- the BBB DID NOTHING and they admit they received over 70,000 complaints!
BY SUSAN ZIMMERMAN -
CHICAGO SUN TIMES
Authorities are investigating a suburban-based work-at-home scheme that has generated a record 70,000 calls to the Better Business Bureau and many complaints from consumers who claim they've been fleeced.
Financial Resources Unlimited, which uses a business address in Willowbrook, claimed that participants in its envelope-stuffing program could "earn an excellent weekly income, working from home," and "help solve your money troubles." By sending an initial registration fee of $40 to $55 and up to $25 more for shipping, participants would receive mailing materials, envelopes and pre-printed address labels. Higher fees were required if the participants wanted more materials to mail out.
Participants were to receive commissions on new business generated by the mailings, and Financial Resources Unlimited claimed "a 25 percent realistic success rate." The company claimed people could make up to $570 a week, plus postage reimbursement.
The Cook County state's attorney's office says the whole thing's a fraud -- a glorified pyramid scheme that preys on unsophisticated people who think they will get rich.
The state's attorney filed a civil lawsuit in June against Financial Resources Limited, a related company called Supreme Mailing Services Inc. and the companies' president, Mark E. Shelton, 34, of Darien, alleging consumer fraud and asking for $50,000 in penalties per violation.
The case was dismissed Nov. 12 when the prosecutor handling the case, whose files were in the fire-damaged county high-rise at 69 W. Washington, failed to appear for a status hearing. However, the state's attorney plans to refile the case as early as today, spokesman Jerry Lawrence said.
The company has not responded to a request from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois to provide examples to substantiate earnings claims, said Steve Bernas, the bureau's director of operations. Hundreds of consumers around the country have filed complaints: 363 have been closed and 92 are pending, Bernas said.
Shelton did not return phone calls, but his attorney, Katherine Haennicke defended the business, saying, "We have resolved quite a few" complaints and that the company has paid out more than $60,000 in refunds. When asked what the participants were mailing in the envelopes, Haennicke said it was "an informational booklet ... it's business-type information." She said the company was "not saying a typical person can expect a 25 percent return" on the envelopes.
Complaints to the Better Business Bureau include a consumer who spent nine months mailing out more than 3,000 envelopes and incurred $1,800 in expenses -- without making a dime. In another complaint, a retiree wrote of spending $1,702.75 and 200 hours to send out 2,500 envelopes -- and receiving only $223.34 in commissions.
"These people who fell for this are not dishonest people. They just wanted to supplement their income," Bernas said. "They see green at the end of the tunnel, unfortunately."
Los Angeles, California