State alleges telemarketers defrauded elderly consumers

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has obtained an injunction against telemarketers who allegedly targeted elderly people in a business opportunity scam.

Horne announced Friday the recent filing of a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court against several Arizona-based businesses and individuals.

Horne said the court has granted his office's request for a temporary injunction, freezing the defendants' personal and business assets and prohibiting them from selling business opportunities or engaging in any telemarketing activities.

The state alleges the defendants conspired to defraud consumers of millions of dollars by telling consumers they could work from home and earn lucrative commissions. The consumers were told they would advertise credit card processing services and cash advances to businesses.

Consumers reportedly spent thousands of dollars to participate in the business opportunities, which included costly marketing campaigns. Consumers said they never received the substantial commissions promised.

The state alleges the following individuals, corporations and businesses violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act; the Arizona Telephone Solicitations statute; and the Arizona Organized Crime, Fraud and Terrorism Act:

Jeffrey Alan Hankins, Thomas C. Mikla, Vyacheslav "Steve" Yagudayev, Scott Shocklee, Veronica Cabrales, Brooke Marcus, JST Merchant Services LLC, JSTEBIZSERVICES LLC, J and S Productions LLC, Top Choice Merchants LLC, BBS Merchant Group LLC, E-Biz-Services LLC, North Star Billing LLC, United Billing Services LLC, and United Online Merchants LLC.

Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe is handling the case.

Consumers who believe they were defrauded by a business opportunity seller are encouraged to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office. To file a complaint, visit

For more information or to request a complaint form, contact the Attorney General's Office Consumer Information and Complaint Unit at 602-542-6763 (Phoenix) or 520-628-6504 (Tucson). The toll-free number is 800-352-8431.