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FTC shuts down Internet marketer

By Website Lawyer

Web lawyer closed businessNo Web lawyer specializing in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cases could have saved Daniel Greenberg of Classic Closeouts because of the misconduct involved. This Internet marketer has been put out of business by the FTC.

Because of deceptive billing practices, Greenberg has been banned from…

“any Internet-related business that handles consumers’ credit card or debit card accounts.  He also is prohibited from making unauthorized charges to consumers’ accounts, making false or misleading statements while selling any goods or services, and using any false or assumed name, including an unregistered, fictitious company name, in his business dealings.”

Facing a $2 million judgment, Greenberg is bankrupt and has to surrender some personal and household possessions as part of his settlement with the FTC. What’s intriguing here is that the settlement essentially circumvents the entity shield that would typically be in place for a limited liability company. If this was the best deal his Web lawyer could get him, Greenberg was obviously in a deep hole from a liability standpoint.

This is an example of why it’s very important to use accurate billing and have an easy to follow returns/refund policy that you honor in your Internet business.

To your online success!

-Mike the Web lawyer

Killer bonus costs Internet marketer 850,000 bucks

By Internet Lawyer

Internet lawyer bonusThere’s an Internet marketing company that offered a “bonus” on its client’s websites that actually billed clients an extra $54.95 when they accepted the bonus. The fee was hidden below the “submit” button in the fine print that as an Internet lawyer I know for a fact most people never read.

The tech officer of the company has just settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In addition to having to pay $850,000, the settlement “bars him from misrepresenting material facts about a product or service, such as the cost or the method for charging consumers. He also is permanently prohibited from misrepresenting that a product or service is free or a ‘bonus’ without disclosing all material terms and conditions, and from charging consumers without first disclosing what billing information will be used, the amount to be paid, how and on whose account the payment will be assessed, and all material terms and conditions. The order further requires that transactions be afbusinessatively authorized by consumers, and that he, in marketing financial products or services, monitor his affiliates to ensure compliance with the order.”

In short, he’s forking over a lot of dinero, can’t be offering fake bonuses or other shady practices, and has to make sure affiliates don’t screw up either. And if he does mess up, he will need more than an Internet lawyer to get himself out of trouble the second time around.

Don’t believe the Internet gurus who tell you nothing has changed in the way you can do business online. Examples are being made. Don’t become the next one.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet lawyer

P.S. If you haven’t picked up your complimentary copy of the website owner privacy and personal safety report, go to and get it now.

Salty Droid: Internet Marketer, Lawyer, Menace, or Maven?

By Internet Lawyer

salty-droidWho is Salty Droid?

Before answering that question, let’s address the conspiracy theories.

Q: Am I really Salty Droid?

A: No.

Q: Is “Salty Droid” a pseudonym for Ben Mack?

A: Although Ben Mack’s outing of Paulie Sabol did make him a prime candidate, and Ben likes to use multiple personalities online, he is not Salty Droid. If he stopped saying {bleep bloop}, he’d be even less suspicious.

Q: What about Frank Kern or Jason Moffatt?

A: Dude. No way.

Q: Is Salty Droid a law firm client?

A: No.

Q: Do I know who Salty Droid is?

A: Salty Droid appears to be who he claims to be. Read his bio.

With the amount of traffic that Salty Droid’s site is getting, there are a lot of readers in the Internet info product marketing arena. Whether you like or dislike the content, the site is raising awareness of ethical lapses in Internet marketing…and it is apparently being done without monetizing the site or for publicity. Speaking of publicity, the following quote comes to mind:

“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants;

electric light the most efficient policeman.”

– Justice Louis Brandeis

Internet Marketer: How Will You Exit Your Business?

By Internet Lawyer

questionAsk the typical Internet entrepreneur when he plans to leave his company and you’ll get a blank stare, “I don’t know,” or a joke about leaving in a pine box. That’s a sure sign of working inside a business as a technician instead of on it.

If you didn’t plan your exit strategy when you started your business, now is an excellent time to do so because how you will work (not how hard you will work) will be determined by the end game.

Do you want to work until you drop dead? Think your business will last that long? If so, who will inherit or buy it at that time? Do you have a business succession plan in place?

Want to sell your business in 3-5 years and find something else to do with your time? For how much money? Semi-retire? Start a new online venture? What will it take for you to get to that point?

What about growing your business to the point that you take it public? When would you like to do that? Who will you need to bring on board your company to make that happen?

If you don’t know your end game, you’re unlikely to score. It’s like running around in circles at the 50-yard line carrying the football…very hard to make a touchdown that way.

Andrew Bourland: Death of an Internet Marketer

By Internet Lawyer

Andrew BourlandAndrew Bourland (1955-2009), client and friend, has traveled to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns. In Internet marketing, Andy left his mark – from ClickZ to ClickBank University. And he always seemed willing to help newbies, whether he met them in person at a seminar or even on Facebook.

However, I suspect that the hardest part of saying goodbye had nothing to do with business and everything to do with his family. A devoted husband, father, and son, Andrew Bourland leaves behind a family that was fortunate enough to spend the December holidays with him.

How one lives affects the future. For what we do now carries on in eternity through those who follow.

Andrew Bourland is immortal now – his actions living on through the thousands he helped and in the hearts of those closest to him.

Here’s the link to the Facebook profile for Andy’s widow – Jeanne Walker Bourland. If you have any stories about Andrew Bourland, please share them with Jeanne because she’s collecting them for the children.