A Mendham man who bilked 13,000 customers through a phony work-from-home scheme has been ordered to pay back $130,000 to the victims he swindled, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
David Brookman, owner of Capital Enterprises Inc., lured consumers through advertisements promising “Get Paid From Mailing Our Special Letters From Home!” and “Potential Earning of Up to $5,000 or More Weekly!,” the Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said.
The state’s investigation revealed Brookman’s company never paid out what it promised in the envelope-stuffing program, Hoffman said. Only 45 of Brookman’s 13,000 customers ever made more than $100 in the scheme, Hoffman said.
The single largest payout to one customer was just $520 over a 10-month period, Hoffman said.
Brookman bilked consumers by charging registration fees for users to sign up for the work-at-home program. Once signed up, the terms and conditions changed, Hoffman said, and often included a requirement to make further payments.
Brookman will pay $130,000 in reimbursement per the settlement announced Monday. Of that total, $66,712 is for civil penalties, while another $66,288 is reimbursement for the state’s attorney’s fees and investigative costs. Brookman will pay the first $50,000 over the next 10 days, and the $10,000 in quarterly installments until the total is met.
As part of the settlement, Brookman is no longer allowed to take part in advertising or selling work-from-home or direct-mail programs in New Jersey or directed to New Jersey residents. For the next decade, the Mendham resident cannot form any business in New Jersey or advertise the sale of any merchandise without posting a bond of $250,000.
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