FTC Three States Charge Scammers – Grant Writers Institute, LLC

For Release: 07/23/2009

FTC, Three States Charge Scammers with Falsely Promising “Guaranteed” $25,000 Government Grants as Part of the Economic Stimulus Package

Court Halts Operators’ Deceptive Pitches for Grant Writing Book and Services

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission and three state Attorneys General, a U.S. district court judge has stopped an operation from falsely claiming that it could help consumers secure a “$25,000 Grant” – guaranteed – from the U.S. government. The case is the latest in a Commission crackdown on scammers trying to capitalize on the economic downturn by targeting people facing financial hardship. The FTC is working with federal and state law enforcement agencies nationwide to bring such actions.

In a complaint filed this week, the FTC, jointly with the Attorneys General of Kansas, Minnesota, and North Carolina, charged that Grant Writers Institute, LLC and its related entities (together, GWI) falsely told consumers that they were eligible for grants as part of the recently announced economic stimulus package. The complaint alleged that the defendants’ false and deceptive claims violate federal law, state consumer protection laws, and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The complaint seeks a court order permanently stopping the defendants’ illegal conduct and forcing them to return money to consumers injured by the scheme.

“Stamping out grant fraud and other types of schemes that take advantage of consumers in dire financial shape continues to be one of the Federal Trade Commission’s highest priorities,” said David Vladeck, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “There is no such thing as a guaranteed grant. But to consumers in financial trouble, the chance for extra income – guaranteed or otherwise – can unfortunately be a huge draw.”

According to the FTC, since at least 2007, GWI has mass mailed postcards to consumers across the country falsely claiming that the consumers “are Guaranteed a $25,000 Grant from the U.S. Government.” Consumers who call the number are pitched a $59 book titled “Professional Grant Writer ‘The Definitive Guide to Grant Writing Success.’” The company’s telemarketers falsely claim that the book will explain how to get government grants – including the “guaranteed” $25,000 grant. GWI and its North Carolina-based telemarketers, also named as defendants in the complaint, then call consumers who have bought the book, trying to get them to pay hundreds of dollars or more for grant research, writing, or coaching services, falsely claiming a 70 percent success rate in securing grant funding. In reality, few, if any consumers ever receive any grant money.

The Commission contends that in addition to falsely claiming consumers were “guaranteed” to receive grants, GWI used the current government stimulus package to make its pitch. For example, when consumers called the number on the mass-mailed postcard, they heard a recording that said, “If you’ve been reading the papers you know that recently our government released $700 billion into the private sector. What you probably don’t know is that there is another $300 billion that must be given away this year to people just like you.” The recording continues, “And if you’re one of the lucky few who knows how to find and apply for these grants, you will receive a check for $25,000 or more, and we guarantee it . . . If you don’t get a check for $25,000 or more, you pay nothing.”

The Commission vote to issue the complaint – jointly with the Attorneys General of Kansas, Minnesota, and North Carolina regarding the alleged telemarketing violations – was 4-0. The complaint contains additional charges and remedies to address state-specific violations.
It was filed on July 20, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, and the court granted the Commission’s request for a temporary restraining order on July 22, 2009. The FTC thanks the state Attorneys General for their substantial contribution to investigating and filing this complaint.

The complaint announced today was filed against the following defendants:

1) Affiliate Strategies, Inc.;
2) Landmark Publishing Group, LLC (d/b/a G.F. Institute and Grant Funding Institute);
3) Grant Writers Institute, LLC;
4) Answer Customers, LLC;
5) Apex Holdings International, LLC;
6) Brett Blackman, individually and as an officer, manager, and/or member of Affiliate Strategies, Inc., Landmark Publishing Group, LLC, Grant Writers Institute, LLC, Answer Customers, LLC, and Apex Holdings International, LLC; 7) Jordan Sevy, individually and as a manager of Landmark Publishing Group, LLC; 8) James Rulison, individually and as president of Answer Customers, LLC, all located in Kansas.

In addition, the complaint names the following North Carolina entities as defendants:
1) Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC (d/b/a Grant Writers Research Network);
2) Martin Nossov, individually and as a manager and member of Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC; and 3) Alicia Nossov, individually and as a manager and member of Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC.

The Commission recently announced several other grant fraud cases as part of the “Operation Short Change” law enforcement sweep targeting economic stimulus frauds. More information about these cases can be found at: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/shortchange.shtm.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs

Carmen L. Christopher,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

Stephen Gurwitz,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

(FTC File No. 092-3126; Civ. No. 5:09-CV-04104-JAR-KGS)
(Grant Writers.final)

Grant Writers Institute, LLC

This March of 2009, I decided to try for a grant and not knowing to me what a fraud this company was, I went with the Grant Writers Institute. I received their grant writers book for a charge of $69.00. I looked through the book and then was contacted by a Michael Upchurch from Grant Writer’s Institute who told me I will be with you, I understand your situation, have a blessed day and go to the nearest Fed Ex facility and he will fax me the documents. Of course, this did cost me close to $1, 000.00 on credit cards, as my husband and I are going through a terrible financial situation as he could not work the summer of 2008, as when he went for his colon test, he had to have a cancerous mass removed, which required chemtherapy. I had to cover all of our bills on my job plus my mortgage, and my new car payment as in 2007, my car skidded on black ice going home and I was in a near fatal car crash and my car overturned and hit a pole and a tree, but I was very lucky. I am paying for a new car and of course our insurance rates went up tremendously even if I did not hit anyone else, so these are two of my stories so I had to take a very big chunk out of whatever savings and my 401K because at work my colleague and I were outsourced, we still support our company but our benefits start a new 401K and our pay is under another company. I was charged $5000.00 to take out part of my other company’s 401K which I had to because of my husband’s medical condition. So naturally, I am all excited to get a grant, so I am putting the money on various credit cards so it is not one lump sum, as I have good credit and always pay my bills on time. My husband is okay now but he still is not making very much and we have to work together. Since March of 2008, I have worked with Courtnee Robinson who was working on my proposals. I forgot to mention they found 8 grants for what they thought would be good. I was looking for $80, 000 to help us with bills, medical, house repairs which we cannot afford, we can’t even afford to retire. The Grant Writers Institute charged me $1, 060.00 to write a total of 2 grants for me which I had to use my credit cards again since no cash was available. To this date, Michael Upchurch and Courtnee Robinson are not longer with the Grant Writers and now a Kimeka Wineglass, if that is her name got my account. This woman called me approximately 2 times one of which I was home on a vacation day and called her and she suddenly said, Oh I was just going to call you. Really? Well, let me tell you I sent her some very lengthy voice mails along with e-mailing the grant writers institute on why they do not call you back or e-mail you back. I received my two proposals finally about two weeks ago with errors and it said if you have any questions or find anything to change to contact them within 14 days, I did this the very next day. I only got one call from this cold vindictive Kimeka Wineglass(1-877-296-7300, extension 4543). She sent me one e-mail stating she has been trying to contact me she would be glad to do the changes for me and I e-mailed her back well is this on the level, because I went to the website and did not hear good things about the grant writers. I have not heard from her since, but I said I work for large corporation and I by no means am not stupid or foolish. I contacted what credit cards I remember putting charges on and explained to them I want to claim fraud and whatever they can do I would appreciate, even if the money we could not afford to give is lost. I also have my cards registered with another company in case of fraud. We used to be in a good position, but with this world and at age 55 and my husband is 57, I did not think ever that I would have to worry that I am going to lose everything. I have been trying to get a loan modification, I have been contacting so many people I have to contact to help me. I will not let my husband or my little dog or myself down, as we do not have children.

I am sorry for the long letter, but please if you or anyone can help us, please I ask God for help every day. These grant writer people at this institute should all be put in jail. How would they like money stold from them if they were in a critical financial situation. If I was a judge, I would throw the book at all of these evil evil people who steal money and promise, you will get a grant you will get at least 3 grants and if you don’t they say in their paperwork which I still have everything, you will get a $790.00 refund back if you contact them. I am afraid to send documents to The Mesa Foundation out of Arizona, and I am supposed to be in the Netwish Foundations list.

MY E-MAIL IS stacytaraking1@aol.com. Please let me know if you can help us. My husband’s e-mail is captstonefinger@aol.com.

Thank you.

Elite D Service – elitedservice.com


These job postings are an attempt to lure you into cashing counterfeit checks and have you wire funds via Western Union or MoneyGram -Essentially You Become A Money or RePackage Mule

Money Mule Explained

Read All About This at Symantec Corp.


Our company is the leader in wholesale produce distribution is seeking a dynamic individual to be responsible for the areas of:
Shipping manager.

You must enjoy working in a fast-paced, hands-on environment and
have strong multi-tasking abilities and interpersonal skills.
This job requires punctuality, good organizational skills and proficiency with Microsoft office programs to maintain inventory and fill in necessary forms.

You will receive packages with electronics from our suppliers and then forward it to our further world wide clients via major shipping
companies: Fedex, DHL, UPS, USPS.
You will generally receive high Tech. Equipment – computer hardware, audio systems, electronics etc.
You will handle all aspects of warehouse activities including shipping, receiving, and inventory.
Experience in freight and custom clearance is key to hire. Top compensation and a rewarding work environment that offers room for growth.
All candidates must be reliable. Previous warehouse experience and experience in a pick/pack environment preferred.
You should effectively communicate with the clients, located in another city while maintaining frequent calls with questions and/or special requests.

To qualify, you MUST:

1. Be at least 18
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3. Check your email several times a day (each hour is welcomed)
4. You need to respond immediately to emails.
5. Be responsible, hard working and communicable.
6. Be able to answer phone calls.

We offer competitive compensation, including base salary, commission, and expense reimbursement
Approximate quantity of packages/letters per week depends ONLY on your skills.


After you are accepted for employment, you will be assigned to our manager. The manager will inform you by E-mail about the time and nature of the first package.
Our company assumes full responsibility for insurance, customs and tax registration of packages. You will not have to fill out any documents or pay customs duties! For the initial period you will be offered a part-time employment, later depending on your activity results you can turn to the full-time employment.

If you would like to join our team please contact Greg Veach or Shanty Dershem.

Elite Delivery Service
Staffing/Management Group

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   Whois Server: whois.netfirms.com
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   Name Server: NS1.NETFIRMS.COM
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   Updated Date: 10-jul-2009
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>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 12:00:56 UTC <<<

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  Domain name: elitedservice.com

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    Lansing, Gary
    1778 sand rd
    Ossian, IA 52161
    563-532-8936  Fax: 

  Technical Contact:
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    7030 Woodbine Ave. Suite 800
    Markham, ON L3R 6G2
    +1.4166612100  Fax: +14166610700

  Registrar of Record: Netfirms Inc.
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  Record created on 2009-07-10.
  Database last updated on 2009-07-24 06:51:35.

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OrgName:    Netfirms Inc 
OrgID:      NETFI
Address:    7030 Woodbine Ave.
Address:    Suite 800
City:       Markham
StateProv:  ON
PostalCode: L3R-6G2
Country:    CA

NetRange: - 
OriginAS:   AS12053
NetName:    NET-NF-00
NetHandle:  NET-70-35-16-0-1
Parent:     NET-70-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Allocation
RegDate:    2009-02-09
Updated:    2009-05-21

RAbuseHandle: ABUSE2258-ARIN
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OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE2258-ARIN
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OrgNOCHandle: NOC3593-ARIN
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OrgNOCEmail:  noc@netfirms.com

OrgTechHandle: HOSTM1367-ARIN
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OrgTechPhone:  +1-416-661-2100
OrgTechEmail:  hostmaster@netfirms.com

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-07-23 20:00

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preference: 10
exchange: q0.netfirms.com
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exchange: q1.netfirms.com
900s (00:15:00)
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minimum ttl: 2560
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elitedservice.com IN NS ns2.netfirms.com 1000s (00:16:40)
elitedservice.com IN A 900s (00:15:00) IN PTR 3600s (01:00:00)

— end —

Canadian Pharmacy – www.bestliferx.com

Buying Prescription Drugs Online Scam Alert 1
May Be Dangerous
Says Drug Enforcement Administration

DEA Logo - Buying Proscription Drugs

Click Here
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)


“The Canadian Pharmacy, Canadian/European Pharmacy”, “Canadian Healthcare” and “US Drugstore” are brands of one of the most disgusting illegal online pharmacy group well organized CRIMINAL OPERATION of all times. “GREED” is the driving force behind this operation. Don’t let them fool you. They will never send you any genuine drugs. If they ever send anything at all, it may consist of literally anything from sugar to wall plaster, and they certainly don’t care that you will endanger your health by taking those dangerous counterfeit drugs.

Behind The Online Pharmacy

Today a shadowy, transnational network of illicit drug manufacturers, traders, doctors, Web site operators, spammers and criminals makes up the online pharmacy world.

Buying Medication Online Can Be Safe

There are many options out there when it comes to buying medication online. We have looked at websites after websites. Some sites feature offshore pharmacies that do not require a prior prescription. Others feature licensed pharmacies that do require a prescription from your doctor.
Before making a purchase that can effect your health, we strongly recommend that you consult your physician & DO NOT self-medicate. Ordering medication online can be a safe, money-saving experience. When done through licensed online pharmacies that require a prescription, you can be assured that the medication you get is exactly what you need to treat your ailments.

Department of Justice – Ryan Haight Act




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Whois Server: whois.easydns.com
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Updated Date: 18-jul-2009
Creation Date: 13-apr-2006
Expiration Date: 13-apr-2012

Last update of whois database: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 11:44:18 UTC

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9 Tanbark Circuit
Werrington Downs, NSW 2747


Administrative Contact:
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Werrington Downs, NSW 2747
+1.4403486369 Fax: +1.4403486369

Technical Contact:
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Werrington Downs, NSW 2747
+1.4403486369 Fax: +1.4403486369

Registrar of Record: easyDNS Technologies, Inc.
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Record created on 13-Apr-2006.

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Domain status: clientTransferProhibited

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CustName: Momentum Advanced Solution
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StateProv: ON
PostalCode: L3T-7T2
Country: CA
RegDate: 2009-01-13
Updated: 2009-01-13

NetRange: –
OriginAS: AS23498
NetHandle: NET-74-213-176-0-1
Parent: NET-74-213-160-0-1
NetType: Reassigned
RegDate: 2009-01-13
Updated: 2009-01-13

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OrgTechEmail: arintech@cogecodata.com

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-07-23 20:00

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bestliferx.com IN MX
preference: 0
exchange: server305.hushtech.net
3600s (01:00:00)
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server: ns1.hushtech.net
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retry: 7200
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13.0- IN PTR 74-213-177-13.ultrahosting.com 3600s (01:00:00)

— end —

Scam Site – Natwest Bank – Natwest Bank

Consumer & Business Alert – Stolen Identity!!!! fraudalert
This Is A Fraudulent Website
Phishing or Identity Theft
Do Not Conduct or Transact Business With Them


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Domain Whois record

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   Domain Name: NATBKLONDN.COM
   Whois Server: whois.melbourneit.com
   Referral URL: http://www.melbourneit.com
   Name Server: YNS1.YAHOO.COM
   Name Server: YNS2.YAHOO.COM
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Updated Date: 14-jul-2009
   Creation Date: 14-jul-2009
   Expiration Date: 14-jul-2010

>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 11:36:23 UTC <<<

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Domain Name.......... natbklondn.com
  Creation Date........ 2009-07-14
  Registration Date.... 2009-07-14
  Expiry Date.......... 2010-07-14
  Organisation Name.... Michael Relf
  Organisation Address. PO Box 61359
  Organisation Address. 
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  Organisation Address. 94088
  Organisation Address. CA
  Organisation Address. US

Admin Name........... Admin PrivateRegContact
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  Admin Address........ CA
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  Admin Phone.......... +1.5105952002
  Admin Fax............ 

Tech Name............ TECH PrivateRegContact
  Tech Address......... PO Box 61359
  Tech Address......... 
  Tech Address......... Sunnyvale
  Tech Address......... 94088
  Tech Address......... CA
  Tech Address......... US
  Tech Email........... contact@myprivateregistration.com
  Tech Phone........... +1.5105952002
  Tech Fax............. 
  Name Server.......... yns1.yahoo.com
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Network Whois record

Queried whois.arin.net with ““…

OrgName:    AltaVista Company 
OrgID:      ALTAVI-1
Address:    701 First Ave
City:       Sunnyvale
StateProv:  CA
PostalCode: 94089
Country:    US

NetRange: - 
NetHandle:  NET-216-39-48-0-1
Parent:     NET-216-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS1.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS2.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS3.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS4.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS5.YAHOO.COM
RegDate:    2002-09-09
Updated:    2004-05-26

RTechHandle: NA258-ARIN
RTechName:   Netblock Admin 
RTechPhone:  +1-408-349-3300
RTechEmail:  abechtel@inktomi.com 

OrgAbuseHandle: NETWO857-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Network Abuse 
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-408-349-3300
OrgAbuseEmail:  network-abuse@cc.yahoo-inc.com

OrgTechHandle: NA258-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Netblock Admin 
OrgTechPhone:  +1-408-349-3300
OrgTechEmail:  abechtel@inktomi.com

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-07-23 20:00

DNS records

name class type data time to live
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p4p-i.geo.vip.re4.yahoo.com IN A 430s (00:07:10)
natbklondn.com IN TXT i=261&m=geo-g5-mx2-p4 1200s (00:20:00)
natbklondn.com IN A 1200s (00:20:00)
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preference: 30
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1200s (00:20:00)
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exchange: mx1.biz.mail.yahoo.com
1200s (00:20:00)
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server: hidden-master.yahoo.com
email: geo-support.yahoo-inc.com
serial: 2004022301
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minimum ttl: 28800
1200s (00:20:00) IN PTR p4p-i.geo.vip.re4.yahoo.com 578s (00:09:38)

— end —