La. businessman accused of using fake stimulus check scheme, luring people to car sale

La. businessman accused of using fake stimulus check scheme, luring people to car sale
Envelopes and mock checks sent out people, directing them to claim stimulus money and luring them to a car sale. (Source: FTC.gov)

(WAFB) - The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana-based company and its founder to halt a scheme that allegedly sent people ads in the mail that looked like important COVID-19 stimulus check information.

Envelopes and mock checks sent out people, directing them to claim stimulus money and luring them to a car sale.
Envelopes and mock checks sent out people, directing them to claim stimulus money and luring them to a car sale. (Source: FTC.gov)

The envelopes were bright orange with the words “time-sensitive fast-tracked mail: open immediately,” and “important COVID-19 economic stimulus document enclosed” printed in bold text across the front.

The FTC says they were sent to people by Louisiana-based Traffic Jam Events, LLC. and its owner, David J. Jeansonne II. His business runs tent sales and other promotions on behalf of auto dealers and advertising those events through direct mail.

The mailers had directions to “relief headquarters” where you could “claim these stimulus incentives,” which was actually a lot hosting a car tent sale in Bushnell, Florida. The mailers include a likeness of the Great Seal of the United States, as well as a mock check, labeled “Stimulus Relief Program.”

The FTC says these mailers “have nothing whatsoever to do with any government stimulus program.”

The state of Kansas sued Jeansonne and his business in 2010 and 2012 for deceptive ad campaigns. Indiana took action against them in 2018. The Florida Attorney General sued them in April for using the COVID-related mailers, but the FTC says they “continue to provide advertising and marketing services to the automotive industry nationwide.”

The case is pending in federal court in Louisiana.

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