FTC shuts jail journal subscription firm for taking $2.2 million from inmates for subscriptions

He scammed his means out of enterprise.

The proprietor of an organization that bought magazines to hundreds of prisoners and their family members however by no means delivered has been barred from ever promoting or advertising and marketing subscriptions once more in a settlement reached with the Federal Commerce Fee.

Roy Snowden, 68, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., who ran Inmate Journal Service, was additionally ordered to pay $2.2 million from accounts related to the enterprise as a part of the settlement, a penalty which was partially suspended on account of his lack of ability to pay in its entirety, the FTC stated.

Snowden was accused by the FTC and the Florida Lawyer Normal of taking out adverts in authorized magazines extensively distributed in prisons across the nation, providing inmates offers for magazines. 

However after the prisoners despatched their cash, they hardly ever ever obtained any magazines, officers say. In the event that they ever had been despatched points, it was lengthy after the 120 days Inmate Journal Service promised.

“The FTC is dedicated to halting shopper abuses in opposition to incarcerated people and their households,” stated Samuel Levine, appearing director of the Bureau of Shopper Safety. “Like all Individuals, incarcerated people and their households need to get what they paid for, and get it when it was promised.”

Messages left with Snowden, who represented himself within the case, weren’t instantly returned.

Snowden was beforehand convicted of tax evasion in 2007 and was sentenced to 4 years in federal jail for transferring a yacht, luxurious automobiles and homes into the identify of his spouse or numerous company entities in an effort to keep away from paying over $1 million in again taxes. 

The FTC stated that if Snowden misrepresented his monetary scenario, he could be ordered to pay the $2.2 million in its entirety.

Officers stated that Inmate Information Service made it nearly inconceivable for its clients to complain or request refunds as the one cellphone quantity listed for it was unmonitored and didn’t enable for messages to be left. Messages despatched on-line by no means obtained any response, the FTC grievance stated.

The courtroom paperwork famous that it was significantly troublesome for incarcerated individuals to file complaints as that they had restricted entry to telephones and the web whereas in jail.

Solely clients who filed complaints with businesses such because the Higher Enterprise Bureau of Northwest Florida ever obtained replies, which blamed delays on a pc system failure or supplied them free problems with different magazines which had been additionally by no means despatched, the FTC stated. Over the previous three years, the Higher Enterprise Bureau obtained 560 complaints concerning the journal enterprise.

Inmates who reached out on to the publications to which that they had subscribed had been advised there was no file of their account and that Inmate Journal Service was not a contracted accomplice.

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