Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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Attorney General Abbott Sues Florida Companies Targeting Hispanic Families With Misleading Credit Card Scam

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed suit today against several Florida-based credit card companies and their owners for targeting mostly Hispanic families nationwide with promises of major credit cards with high credit limits.

In actuality, the companies required an up-front fee of up to $299 from consumers who responded to heavily marketed advertisements on Spanish-language television and radio stations. The “credit cards” they received were only good for purchases of items from the defendants’ catalogues and Web sites.

Latin Card Plus CommercialProline Commercial
Latin Card Plus
Proline Commercial

“Securing a positive credit history is a dream much like home ownership,” said Attorney General Abbott. “I will not tolerate the exploitation of consumers who seek creditworthiness and who believe that companies such as these will stand by promises to help them secure credit.”

BrochureProline Credit CardLatin Card Plus
BrochureProline Credit CardLatin Card Plus

The defendants named in this scheme are:
• Julio Cesar Sandoval and Carlos Felipe Mendez
• LatinCard Plus, L.L.C.
• ProLine Card L.L.C
• Call Center Express Corp. and
• Tradex L.L.C.

The LatinCard and ProLine cards advertised by the defendants could not be used for regular retail purchases as with ordinary major credit cards, and as promised by the defendants. Additionally, the companies required consumers to prepay 40 percent of the cost of purchase of any item in the Web catalog, a provision not revealed when the consumers were asked to pay the hundreds of dollars in advance fees for the cards.

Today’s suit, filed under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, asks the court to order the defendants to refund affected Texas consumers all unlawful advance fees charged by the companies. The suit also requests injunctions to halt the deceptive, aggressive marketing of these credit cards in the future.

View State’s lawsuit against the credit card companies and their owners