DENVER — A Colorado couple faces a civil lawsuit over accusations that they swindled thousands of consumers in a magazine telemarketing scam, announced the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Wednesday.
Rocio Trujillo, 31, and her husband, Anthony Trujillo, 34, are charged for violating the Colorado Consumer Projection Act, said Wednesday’s release from the Consumer Protection Section of the state office.
According to the filed complaint, the Trujillos allegedly operated a magazine telemarketing scam that preyed on thousands of victims, specifically targeting the elderly.
From 2002 to 2014, the Trujillos allegedly ran multiple companies, including RNA Direct Marketing, LLC, America’s Elite Media, Inc., America’s Elite Magazine, Patriotic Readers Club, AA Publishers, LLC and Subscription Data Processing, LLC, among others, said the release.
Using these companies, the Trujillos ran a three-part business model to facilitate the scam, said the release.
The model started with the couple making sales calls to magazine subscribers, attempting to convince the customer they were their current magazine provider. If the Trujillos were successful in deceiving the consumer, they then submitted the victims to a recorded “verification process,” which the couple called an “oral contract.”
They allegedly charged subscribers up to $100 a month for the magazine packages as well as other contractual fees.
The Attorney General’s Office said the defendants are also “accused of engaging in other deceptive trade practices including threats to send consumers to collection agencies to bully them into participating in the ‘verification.'”
“The Trujillos preyed on thousands of consumers, many of whom are senior citizens, for nearly $1,200 per victim,” said Attorney General John Suthers. “Because consumers filed complaints with our office, we had the documentation needed to interrupt this illegal telemarketing scheme.”
The Attorney General’s Office said it hopes to prevent the Trujillos from participating in other deceptive trade practices in the future by seeking a permanent injunctive relief against the couple, and it looks to grant full compensation to any individuals victimized by the scam — the office seeks a penalty of up to $10,000 per elderly victim.