Like Monopoly money, but it buys real stuff.

Judge Hits Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme With $40.7 Million Penalty

If someone convinces you to invest with him by promising returns of 7% weekly, and that he’s never lost money and there’s no risk, you should be incredibly concerned about giving him your money, regardless of whether it’s a dollar or a Bitcoin. But the operator of a Bitcoin-based Ponzi scheme in Texas was able to rake in millions based on completely empty promises — and now has to pay it all back. [More]

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court held that Yelp is free to shuffle positive and negative reviews around at will, and can even use that freedom as a way to urge businesses to advertise on the site. But even in light of this ruling, Yelp maintains that buying ads on the site does not determine which reviews show up for your business. [More]

Court Shuts Down $11 Million High School Diploma Mill

(bluwmongoose)

Not everyone graduates from high school, but for nearly a decade, a company in Florida has been offering what it claims are “official” diplomas from “accredited” schools to consumers who took an online test (and paid betweeen $200 to $300). Except federal authorities say these diplomas are as bogus as they sound, and this company has allegedly scammed consumers for at least $11.1 million. [More]

Feds Sue Corinthian Colleges For Pushing More Than $560M In Predatory Loans On Students

Feds Sue Corinthian Colleges For Pushing More Than $560M In Predatory Loans On Students

 

Tens of thousands of students were duped by Corinthian Colleges Inc. into taking out costly predatory, and often financially devastating, private student loans to finance their post-secondary education, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges in a recently filed lawsuit against the large for-profit education company. [More]

Woman Sues McDonald’s After Chowing Down On Nametag Instead Of French Fries

Woman Sues McDonald’s After Chowing Down On Nametag Instead Of French Fries

It’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to grab a handful of french fries after making your way through the McDonald’s drive-thru on your way home. But as one woman found out recently, patience is indeed a virtue, and it might stop you from munching on a plastic nametag instead of a french fry. [More]

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

Complain All You Want, California! State Outlaws Silly Non-Disparagement Clauses

In the wake of lawsuits over online retailers that try to charge customers huge fees for allegedly violating “non-disparagement” clauses that prohibit customers from complaining about their transactions, lawmakers in California have approved a bill outlawing the ridiculous practice. [More]

The makers of a green coffee extract product sponsored clinical trials of the supplement that showed good weight-loss results, but the FTC says the study was manipulated and conflicting data was left unexplained.

Maker Of “Miracle” Green Coffee Weight-Loss Product To Pay $3.5M For Using Bogus Science To Sell Product

Months after going after online sellers for creating fake news sites, complete with a fake reporter, to push green coffee extract as a miracle weight loss drug, the Federal Trade Commission has settled its case against one Texas company that supplied the product while unsubstantiated scientific claims about the efficacy of the supplement. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Home Depot Already Being Sued Over Apparent Data Breach

As of right now, Home Depot has yet to confirm multiple reports that its in-store payment system was hacked, or given any indication how extensive the breach might be. But that hasn’t stopped people from suing the retailer. [More]

American, Delta Sue Operators Of Scammy Travel Clubs

American, Delta Sue Operators Of Scammy Travel Clubs

We’ve told you before about travel club scammers who send out notices claiming that you’ve won free trips from Travelocity or travel vouchers from airlines that sound like they exist (but don’t). The airlines have always responded to these stories by saying they would have their lawyers look into these types of scams, but at least two major carriers are actually doing something about it. [More]

Whole Foods Pulls Yogurt With Bogus Nutrition Info From Stores

Whole Foods Pulls Yogurt With Bogus Nutrition Info From Stores

Food companies put nutrition information on the labels of their products, and we consumers assume that information is, you know, true. Maybe naively so. When tests by our calorie-crunching colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports showed that there was more sugar in Whole Foods’ plain Greek yogurt than the label claimed, the grocery chain pulled the product from shelves. [More]

Appeals Court: Yelp’s Ad Team Isn’t Extorting Small Businesses

(Rich Rogala)

For several years, some have accused online review site Yelp of strong-arming small businesses into paying for ads on the site, and a handful of these companies have even sued Yelp, hoping to prove their allegations. But this week a federal appeals court shot down extortion claims made against Yelp by California business owners, saying the site’s ad sales methods are just “hard bargaining.” [More]

(Brandy Lee)

Court: Domino’s Not Responsible For Sexual Harassment Of 16-Year-Old Employee

When a worker at a fast food franchise acts like an a-hole, it’s obviously his boss’s immediate responsibility to investigate and discipline that employee if necessary. But does the corporate office share any liability when things go wrong at the franchisee level? What about when people from company HQ are involved in the decision of whether or not to dismiss an employee? According to California’s highest court, the buck stops at the franchisee’s door. [More]

Sketchy Online Retailer With $250 Fee For Complainers Is “Down For Maintenance”

Sketchy Online Retailer With $250 Fee For Complainers Is “Down For Maintenance”

For the last few days, we’ve been following the story of sketchy online retailer Accessory Outlet, which was recently sued over its bizarre policy of penalizing customers $250 for even threatening to publicly complain about a purchase or file a chargeback request with their credit card issuers. Then we revealed how the site was blatantly lying about its various customer service ratings, awards, and certifications. Now it looks like the site has been pulled down, if only temporarily. [More]

Bank Of America Doesn’t Want To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Bank Of America Doesn’t Want To Pay $1.27B For Countrywide’s “Hustle” Mortgage Scam

Between settlements, fines, legal fees, and loan reductions, Bank of America’s tab for its part in the mortgage meltdown is well over $50 billion, including last week’s record-setting $16.65 billion deal. And yet BofA is still trying to fight a nearly year-old jury verdict involving a scam by Countrywide Financial that sold off oodles of worthless home loans before the housing bubble collapsed. [More]

More Sketchiness Revealed About Retailer That Charges Customers $250 For Threatening To Complain

More Sketchiness Revealed About Retailer That Charges Customers $250 For Threatening To Complain

Yesterday we told you about Accessory Outlet, the online retailer that claims to be “the #1 Mobile Accessory wholesaler in the United States” but which also charges a $250 fine for customers who even make the threat of publicly complaining about a bad purchase or requesting a chargeback from their credit card company. We want to update you on some additional shady things we’ve learned since then. [More]

Online Retailer Will Fine You $250 If You Even Threaten To Complain About Purchase

Before the site went down for prolonged "maintenance" Accessory Outlet included a clause in its Terms of Sale that charged a $250 penalty to complaining customers.

If you were put off by KlearGear.com’s ridiculous “Non-Disparagement” fee, which penalizes customers for sharing their bad shopping experiences with the public, another online retailer is apparently trying to go one further, by not only banning customers from saying bad things online, but by also forbidding them from even bringing up the threat of a complaint or a credit card chargeback. [More]

Appeals Court Won’t Hear Aereo’s “We’re A Cable Company” Argument

Appeals Court Won’t Hear Aereo’s “We’re A Cable Company” Argument

Following its crushing defeat before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this summer, streaming video startup Aereo tried to stay alive by arguing that since the court said it was acting like a cable company, it should then be considered a cable company. Alas, a federal appeals court has decided not to hear this debate, possibly hammering the final nail into Aereo’s coffin. [More]

Creator Of “Your Baby Can Read” Program Settles False Advertising Charges

Creator Of “Your Baby Can Read” Program Settles False Advertising Charges

Almost exactly two years after the Federal Trade Commission accused the people behind the popular “Your Baby Can Read” training program of making deceptive advertising claims, the product’s creator has finally reached a deal to settle charges that he and his company made baseless pronouncements about the effectiveness of the program and that they misrepresented scientific studies to prove these bogus statements. [More]