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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2000
AG's High-Tech Unit Files First Cases

 

Complaints:
STATE OF WASHINGTON,
v.
BERRY BALL, individually and on behalf of DETAILSHERE.COM,
"detailsherecomplaint.doc" 64K MS Word
STATE OF WASHINGTON,
v.
MATRIXCUBED INTERNET SERVICES, LLC, a Washington for-profit corporation; CASCADIAN SYSTEMS GROUP, a Washington sole proprietorship, LAVERS AND LAVERS, a Washington partnership, DAVID LAVERS, individually and on behalf of his marital community, as a manager of MATRIXCUBED INTERNET SERVICES, LLC, as sole proprietor of CASCADIAN SYSTEMS GROUP and as partner in LAVERS AND LAVERS, and MICHAEL LAVERS, individually, as a manager of MATRIXCUBED INTERNET SERVICES, LLC and as partner in LAVERS AND LAVERS, Defendants.
"Complaint101800.doc" 49K MS Word

Seattle -Oct. 18, 2000- The Washington state Attorney General’s High-Tech unit, created to fight crime and consumer fraud on the Internet, has filed its first two cases -- one against an Internet-based promoter of illegal pyramid and Ponzi schemes, and the other against a Redmond-based seller of web hosting services.

"While the Internet holds tremendous potential for business and education, it also has a dark side that permits slick operators to use deception or other means to break the law," said state Attorney General Christine Gregoire. "The High-Tech Unit was created to combat that."

In papers filed in Kitsap County Superior Court, state attorneys accuse Silverdale-based Detailshere.com of violating the state’s Chain Distributor Schemes Act by operating illegal pyramid and Ponzi schemes. All of the schemes, they say, are cloaked in a variety of legitimate-sounding descriptions, such as "investment opportunities," "gifting programs," "art opportunities" and "offshore accounts."

The complaint alleges that Detailshere.com and its owner, Berry Ball, misrepresented the legitimacy of the business opportunities listed on their website. The suit also alleges Ball falsely claimed that participation in the program was free, that participation would result in substantial returns and that the opportunities were tax- and risk-free.

Pyramid and Ponzi schemes are similar, but differ slightly in their structure. Both, however, depend on a steady stream of money from new investors to pay returns to those who joined earlier. Both schemes are illegal under Washington law.

"The end result of both types of schemes is inevitable and predictable," Gregoire said. "All eventually collapse and fail."

In the other case, filed in King County Superior Court, state attorneys accuse Redmond-based Matrixcubed Internet Services of violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act. The complaint alleges that Matrixcubed failed to make refunds, provide its promised 24-hour technical support, provide services paid for and respond to complaints. The lawsuit also alleges that Matrixcubed misrepresents the number of Internet users who can simultaneously visit sites it hosts.

Matrixcubed, which also goes by ResellerMatrix and HostingMatrix, provides individuals and businesses with space on the Internet to house and maintain websites.

The suit also names David and Michael Lavers, father and son business partners who own Matrixcubed, as defendants.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received at least 17 consumer complaints about the company.

The Attorney General’s High Tech Unit is charged with enforcing the state’s consumer protection laws by focusing on violations committed in cyberspace, supporting local police and prosecutors in investigating and prosecuting online crime and educating the public about online crime and how to avoid being victimized.

Click here to file a complaint online.

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