In November 2013 the FTC filed charges against Derek Cessford, Aaron Kirby, and Mohamad Khaled Kaddoura and the 15 business directory companies they ran. The companies named in the charges were:

  • Modern Technology Inc. d/b/a Online Local Yellow Pages
  • Strategic Advertisement Ltd d/b/a Local Business Yellow Pages
  • Dynamic Ad Corp d/b/a Yellow National Directory and Yellowpages Local Directory
  • Wisetak Inc. d/b/a Online Public Yellow Pages and US Public Yellow Pages
  • Wisetak, Inc. d/b/a Online Public Yellow Pages and US Public Yellow Pages
  • Internet Solutions LLC d/b/a Public Yellow Pages
  • Yellow Pages Express Inc. d/b/a Yellow Pages Express
  • Yellow Pages Online Inc. d/b/a YellowPages Online
  • CessTech Inc. d/b/a Yellow US Pages
  • SEO Online Inc. d/b/a Yellow Local Directory
  • SEO Online LLC
  • SEOOnline d/b/a Public Yellow Pages
  • SEM Pundits Inc. d/b/a Yellow Pages Online
  • CCRecovery Corporation d/b/a CC Recovery
  • M&A Recovery Inc. d/b/a MA Recovery

According to the Nov. 13 Press Release announcing the charges, the defendants “bilked more than $14 million from small businesses and churches in the United States for unwanted listings in online business directories.” The defendants operated from Montreal, using shell companies and mail drops in the U.S. to hide their actual location.  The company telemarketers pretended they were verifying contact information to update or confirm existing directory listings, or they said they were responding to a cancellation request, and asked to verify the organization’s contact information to confirm the cancellation.  In fact, the defendants had no prior relationship with the consumers.

Read more about the FTC action and the money being sent to some consumers here.