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Three Treasure Valley businesses agree to cease Idaho operations in consumer protection case

Owners of three businesses that duped Idahoans on everything from satellite TV systems to vendor spaces at events to fake college credits have agreed to cease all operations in Idaho, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today, under agreements with the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division. The three are Geo Marketing, LLC, of Boise; Kasey Thompson, of Boise, and Philip Braun, owner of the bankrupt Caldwell-based Canyon College of Idaho, Inc. Click below for Wasden's full announcement.


STATE OF IDAHO

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

LAWRENCE WASDEN

 

For Immediate Release

Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014

 

Three Idaho business owners agree to cease operations in deal with Idaho Attorney General

 

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has reached agreements with three Treasure Valley business owners accused of misrepresenting themselves to consumers by failing to deliver services sold to dozens of Idahoans.

Under terms of the deals, each of the business owners has agreed to cease operations in the state. The agreements, negotiated by the office’s Consumer Protection Division, resolve cases against Geo Marketing, LLC, of Boise; Kasey Thompson, of Boise, and Philip Braun, owner of the Caldwell-based Canyon College of Idaho, Inc.

“The activities of these three Treasure Valley business owners represent the variety of consumer protection issues my office handles every single day,” Wasden said.

Complaints filed against Geo Marketing and owner Derek Harris, of Boise, allege he misrepresented the amount of savings promised to customers who bought his security, satellite television systems and Internet services. When consumers failed to realize any savings from the switch, they tried contacting Harris, only to learn he had closed the business.

The agreement with the Consumer Protection Division prohibits Harris from opening another Idaho business similar to Geo Marketing. A $10,000 civil penalty against Harris has been suspended. Because Geo Marketing is no longer in business, consumers who experience problems with their security monitoring, satellite or Internet services should reach out to providers directly.

Wasden reached a similar settlement with Thompson, the owner of Idaho Promotions Group LLC. Customers complained they paid to reserve space as vendors at events he sponsored, but later discovered Thompson had misrepresented the terms and conditions of those events, including venues, dates and facilities. Allegations focused on a 2013 Northwest RibFest held in Nampa and a 2014 Boise Spring Wedding Show.

Thompson has agreed to stop advertising or selling promotional goods or services in the state. The Attorney General also received $300 in fees and costs from Thompson. If Thompson fails to comply with terms of the agreement, he is subject to a $10,000 civil penalty.

In the third case, Wasden reached a settlement with Braun, who since 2009 operated the Canyon College of Idaho. The college was allowed to teach at the certificate course completion level, but not authorized to award degrees to students or teach courses for college credit.

Former students complained, alleging they purchased degrees and college credit that were not accepted by accredited universities or employers.

Under terms with the Attorney General, Braun is barred from owning, operating or managing an entity that advertises for sale, offers for sale or sells educational goods or services to or from locations in Idaho. Braun must also keep college records, respond to requests for transcripts and pay $41,000 in civil penalties if he violates the settlement terms.

In June, Canyon College filed a no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in federal court in Boise. The court closed the bankruptcy on July 22.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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