Deceptive trade practices are actions that give a company an unfair advantage in the marketplace through lying or false advertising and are prohibited by Ohio statutes. Companies should honor all advertisements by matching the listed price and supplying a reasonable amount of that product, and they should never advertise goods or services that they do not intend to supply to their customers. Any advertised or displayed price reductions should also be accurate and honest about the previous price.
Ohio business owners may be interested in the latest news on a lawsuit filed by shareholders against tech giant Hewlett-Packard. The claim against the company has been dismissed despite the shareholders' second chance at filing.
On May 29, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against a group of several individuals involved with a Ponzi scheme in Ohio. An Akron-based group, KGTA Petroleum, was reportedly comprised of residents from the northeast area who employed a scheme to fraudulently obtain approximately $21 million from 50 victims. The SEC filed a lawsuit with the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in an effort to recover restitution for investors and request civil penalties against the defendants.
A defunct funeral home owner in Ohio was charged with theft and fraud after accepting payments from clients. The 45-year-old woman was indicted Dec. 20 on 51 counts that included engaging in corrupt activity, tampering with records and violation of pre-needs contracts. The woman owned and operated the funeral home with her husband.
Some businesses in Ohio may be involved in a settlement that Pilot Flying J, which is the biggest diesel retailer in the U.S. with revenue of approximately $30 billion annually, has reached with 5,500 trucking companies. The $84.9 million settlement was recently approved by an Arkansas federal judge. Included in the amount is $14 million for the trucking companies' legal fees.
A trial has begun in an Ohio courtroom in which the defendant has been charged by the state of conducting a $100 million multistate charity fraud. The state alleges that the defendant defrauded donors to the United States Navy Veterans Association. The defendant's attorney denied the allegations and claimed that his client's activities followed all federal tax regulations related to charities.
Ohio casino industry analysts were watching developments as the Las Vegas gambling giant Sands Corp. was ordered by the U.S. government to pay $47.4 million under a 10-day deadline to avoid prosecution. The business litigation fell onto the casino company after federal authorities said that it had failed to tell them that a suspected international drug smuggler was making suspicious deposits while gambling at its Venetian-Palazzo hotel and casino.
Ohio residents may be surprised to hear that the EPA has stopped allowing new contracts to be issued to BP, the oil giant responsible for spilling over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico three years ago. BP is now suing the EPA over a temporary ban that began in November of last year. According to the oil company, the suspension is "punitive, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of EPA's discretion." The company is requesting that the courts invalidate the suspension and prevent the EPA from enforcing it.
More than two dozen people have filed lawsuits against an Ohio auto company that has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to resolve numerous cases since December 2012. Some of the complaints lodged against the prominent Miamisburg dealership include fraud and deception. The lawyer who represents all of the individuals claims that even more people want to pursue legal action against the car dealership.