The Federal Trade Commission has asked a federal court for permission to charge three people and the five companies they control with improperly receiving at least $22 million from a scheme that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $275 million.
The operation involved offering deceptive “trial” memberships for bogus government-grant and money-making schemes.
In December 2010, the FTC charged the I Works operation, controlled by Jeremy Johnson and nine other individuals, with violating federal law.
The court subsequently froze the assets of Johnson and 61 corporations and appointed a court-supervised receiver to ensure that money can be returned to consumers if the case is resolved in the FTC’s favor.
In the proposed amended complaint announced Wednesday, the FTC asked the court’s permission to name eight relief defendants who are not charged with participating in the I Works scheme but allegedly received ill-gotten gains from it that the FTC seeks to recover.
The individuals include Johnson’s wife, Sharla Johnson, and his parents, Kerry and Barbara Johnson. The companies include Orange Cat Investments LLC; Zibby LLC; Zibby Flight Service LLC; KV Electric Inc.; and the KB Family Limited Partnership.
• Sharla Johnson allegedly received at least $5 million in funds and property, including a multimillion-dollar, 20,000-square-foot mansion in St. George, Utah, subsequently used to secure a $3.1 million home equity line of credit.
• Kerry Johnson allegedly received at least $1.6 million in funds and property, including about $1 million worth of silver coins and bars.
• Barbara Johnson allegedly received at least $77,500.
• Orange Cat Investments allegedly received at least $5.1 million in funds and assets.
• Zibby allegedly received more than $13 million.
• Zibby Flight Service allegedly received at least $2.5 million.
• KV Electric allegedly received more than $800,000.
• KB Family Limited Partnership allegedly received at least $1.75 million in funds and property, including some of the proceeds of the $3.1 million line of credit secured by the Johnson residence.