AG SUES WESTBROOK COMPANY SOLICITING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

December 5, 2003

DECEMBER 5, 2003

CHARLES DOW, DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS & LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, 207-626-8577

The Attorney General’s Office today filed an eleven-count complaint in Kennebec County Superior Court against a Westbrook company, East Coast Marketing Group, Inc., and its owner, Gaylon Boshears, alleging that their solicitations for the Kennebec County Dive and Rescue Association and Cumberland County TRIAD violated Maine’s Solicitation by Law Enforcement Officers Act, the Charitable Solicitations Act, the Unfair Trade Practices Act, and two previous court injunctions. 

The complaint alleges that East Coast, its officers, or agents illegally:

        failed to disclose that they were paid fundraisers;

        failed to conspicuously disclose the company’s name and address;

        falsely implied that they were law enforcement officers;

        failed to keep accurate and complete financial records and telephone scripts;

        represented that donations would benefit law enforcement;

        misrepresented that donations were tax deductible; and

        used the name of the Attorney General’s Office as part of a solicitation without permission.

In 2000 and 2002, East Coast settled two other lawsuits brought by the Attorney General over similar conduct. 

Assistant Attorney General Linda Conti, division chief for consumer protection in the AG’s Office, said, “East Coast’s persistent illegal conduct sullies the reputation of good causes and good companies.  Both consumers and charities should be aware that East Coast has a history of unfair trade practices litigation, and that it appears unfazed by court orders against it.”

Today’s suit seeks a court injunction, consumer restitution, monetary penalties, and litigation costs.

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