A convicted felon, made famous by CNBC's feature American Greed, was re-arrested on January 24, 2012 while he was on supervised release for his original conviction, investment fraud. The charges this time, mail fraud and wire fraud, are made for his role in allegedly defrauding franchisees of Return-A-Pet, a bogus pet finding business.
Eric Stein, aka Robert Philips, was alleged by the Complaint, filed in a federal court in Manhattan, to have sold distributorships in the company called Return-A-Pet LLC. According to the Complaint, Stein collected at least $500,000 from distributorships of Return-A-Pet LLC that he sold for between $5,000 and $50,000 each. The company franchises were supposed to facilitate the return of lost pets to their owners; however, once paying the upfront fees. the franchisees claimed they never received the materials they were promised and could not contact Stein's alias 'Robert Philips.'
Apparently, all the quotations from satisfied customers quoted in the franchise ad were phony. One advertisement is still listed at FranchiseSolutions.com. Read the ad. Do you think it looks too good to be true?
I don't know. But I can see why pet lovers would be drawn to a career that helps pet owners find their family members....
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