Work-from-home company closes leaving dozens in limboPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Kyle Winn used to run a Phoenix-company called Website Business before it shut down last summer.
Around that time, 3 On Your Side told you about 74-year-old Dorothy Rien. She claims to have received a cold-call from Website Business telling her she could earn thousands of dollars every month working from home as a blogger.
She signed up but say she didn't realize that buried in her work contract with the company, she was actually authorizing Website Business to charge more than $120,000 to her credit cards.
“Here I was feeling really stupid because I had signed those contracts and sent them back," she said. "But they were making all these promises and they're so nice and I believed them.”
Rien hired an attorney and after 3 On Your Side got involved, her claim was settled for an undisclosed amount of money.
But complaints from other customers continued to come into 3 On Your Side from all over the country.
We spoke with some of these people via Skype.
Jeanine Preboski is from Arkansas and tells us she was taken for $5,000 and got nothing that she was promised.
Another customer, Eric Veillette of New Hampshire, says he paid Website Business $25,000 for help developing his company website. But when Website Business went belly up he was locked out of his own website along with any chance at a refund.
“That is a year's worth of living,” Veillette said. “I can live off of $25,000 a year.”
Dozens of similar complaints are showing up on Website Business's Facebook page. Some claim they're out $11,000, $35,000 and even $43,000. Most want answers, and so does 3 On Your Side.
We tried tracking down owner Kyle Winn and stumbled upon his mugshot from when he was arrested for drunk driving in 2003.
We also came across multiple addresses he's linked to and eventually wound up at a home where his father lives, but he said the two no longer speak.
We checked into some court cases and found Winn and another man were ordered just last month to pay $130,000 to their former landlords where Website Business used to be.
So where does all this leave customers? Most agree they were duped out of a lot of money.
As for Veillette, with the help of Go Daddy, 3 On Your Side was eventually able to get him access to his own website again.
“I don't think this would've been accomplished unless you stepped in,” he said.
Customers who lost money can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Phoenix Electronic Crimes Task Force, a division of the Secret Service.