When your company is under investigation by federal regulators it’s best to be forthcoming with your net worth, because, you know, secrets come out. And when that secret happens to be hidden money, the subsequent fine will likely increase – by a lot.
A former work-at-home scheme operator, who allegedly tried to hide his assets from the Federal Trade Commission in reference to a 2009 case, went from owing nothing to a hefty tab of $26.9 million for his alleged additional deceptive actions, the FTC announced Thursday.
Jonathan Eborn, one of the operators behind operations such as “Google Money Tree,” “Google Pro” and “Google Treasure Chest,” allegedly hid at least $274,828.80 in assets from investigators during the settlement portion of the earlier case by misrepresenting his control over the businesses.
This summer, based on the new findings, a U.S. District Court in Nevada reinstated the full judgement against Eborn: $26.9 million.
The amount stems from his company’s part in marketing an alleged work-at-home scam, in which consumers purchased a low-cost kit with promises they would earn $100,000 in six months.
Back in 2009, the FTC charged Eborn and other operators with using the scheme to lure consumers into divulging their financial account information and failing to disclose that they would be charged $72.21 a month.
As part of the settlement, the defendants gave up more than $3.5 million in cash and other assets. At the time, Eborn was excused from liability for the bulk of the judgement based on his sworn financial stateless that showed his inability to pay.
However, part of the settlement included a provision that stated if any defendant misrepresented their financial condition, the full judgement would become due.