The Federal Trade Commission and United States Attorney Marcos Daniel Jimenez announced today the indictment of Jeffrey M. and Terri L. Salley on criminal contempt charges. The Indictment charges the Salleys with 20 counts of knowingly and willfully disobeying and resisting an Order entered against the defendants in December 2000 by the Honorable Donald L. Graham of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division.
Howard Beales, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, expressed his appreciation to the Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Litigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for pursuing this action at the FTC’s request. In addition, the FTC would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Jupiter Florida Police Department for their assistance. “Like warmed-over coffee, these repeated violators have a bitter aftertaste. This Indictment should serve as a wake up call to those under FTC orders,” said Beales.
According to the Indictment, Jeffrey and Terri Salley violated the Order in connection with the sale of espresso coffee vending business opportunities. The Indictment states that the Order prohibits the Salleys from violating the FTC’s Trade Regulation Rule titled, “Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising and Business Opportunity Ventures,” commonly referred to as the Franchise Rule, and from making any material misrepresentations in connection with the promotion, offer for sale, or sale of franchises, business ventures, or telemarketing. The Order also requires the Salleys to report certain information to the FTC in the future. According to the Indictment, Jeffrey M. Salley and Terri L. Salley, owners of a Jupiter, Florida-based telemarketing room, continued to sell coffee franchises following the entry of the Court’s 2000 Order through Worldwide Coffee, Inc., Salley’s World Wide Coffee, Inc., Coffees
of the World, Inc., and Specialty Gourmet Supply, Inc. The Indictment charges the Salleys with
failing to provide prospective purchasers with the information required by the Franchise Rule. Specifically, the Indictment charges that the defendants failed to disclose their business experience, Jeffrey Salley’s 1998 felony grand theft convictions in Florida, Jeffrey and Terri Salley’s 1999 bankruptcy filing, the Court’s 2000 Order regarding their Franchise Rule violations, and contact information for their other franchisees.
The Indictment also charges the Salleys with violating the Order by fraudulently inducing nine specified purchasers to invest an average of $25,000 each through false representations that the defendants would deliver the coffee machines the franchisees needed to operate the business opportunity. In addition, the Indictment charges the Salleys with failing to report their activities to the FTC, as required by the Order.
The Indictment is part of “Project Scofflaw,” the FTC’s comprehensive law enforcement initiative to enforce United States District Court Orders that have been violated. The FTC is committed to utilizing the full range of powers available to it to stop repeat offenders from violating existing court orders and to deter other defendants from ignoring order provisions.
NOTE: It should be remembered that an Indictment is not evidence of criminal activity, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise.
Copies of the FTC’s “Project Scofflaw” cases are available from the FTC’s Web site at
http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.