Lawsuit: Washington citizens scammed $30,000 for online courses

According to the attorney general’s office, a group of at least 39 Washington residents allegedly owe the company more than $1 million.

SEATTLE — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing a South Carolina-based company of offering a predatory training program to trick Washington citizens into paying up to $30,000 for online -Paid video courses.

Ferguson said in a lawsuit telling Prehired LLC to potential clients, “We guarantee you’ll receive over $60,000 worth of a job offer (from a technology company YOU choose).” The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, identified the Prehired’s marketing claims were misleading, turned out to be lies and illegal.

According to the attorney general’s office, there is evidence that at least 39 Washington residents have contracts with Prehired, with the group owing the company more than $1 million. The exact number of citizens involved in the alleged fraud is not known at this time.

“Washingtonians have spent tens of thousands of dollars in hard-earned money based on [Prehired CEO] Joshua Jordan’s lies,” Ferguson said. “I intend to make sure Jordan and his company don’t take advantage of anyone. I will fight to get his victims repaid and help get them out of these illegal contracts.”

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Prehired, which has operated online as a “tech sales bootcamp” since May 2017, offers online software sales training courses lasting six to 12 weeks, as well as access to internal mentors to help them find employment, according to the lawsuit.

Instead, Ferguson said the course consists of 15 hours of videos from Jordan teaching people how to start a “six figure career”. In the videos, Jordan said his students preparing for the program, including those with a high school diploma or GED and no sales experience, could get jobs with starting salaries of at least $69,000, but Ferguson denied the claims. Starting salary is in line with industry standards for Software SAlBut it’s not Prehired’s ability to get anyone a higher salary, Ferguson said.

Prehired said 90% of its students find employment, not mentioning that clients have to apply for 20 or more jobs per week or risk losing the job guarantee, the lawsuit states. Ferguson said the 90% figure does not include students who left the program early or were removed, leaving the “percentage of prehired critically high.”

Ferguson said if students fail to adhere to a “code of conduct,” including not disparaging the company and returning communications from the company within two business days, they could be removed from Prehired’s program and still pay full price.

The company is accused of tricking its students into paying between $5,000 and $15,000 upfront for tuition and membership, or agreeing to an “income sharing agreement” that pays up to $30,000 for up to eight years become when they have a job. According to the lawsuit, the income agreement charged students a rate of 12.5% ​​of their gross income.

The attorney general’s office believes most people have funded up to $30,000 over eight years.

The company’s contract reportedly required that students who left the course after a week of training still had to pay up to $30,000, regardless of job prospects.

Ferguson alleged in the lawsuit that Prehired’s restrictive cancellation policy violated state law requiring trade schools to follow a uniform refund policy.

After accumulating massive debt through the scheme, Prehired was accused of using aggressive debt collection techniques, including litigation and forced arbitration, to get customers’ money.

Prehired’s owner sued nearly 300 students across the country trying to collect millions owed before attempting to force people into private arbitration.

Ferguson’s office sent the company a cease and desist letter to stop collecting debts from Washington residents, but it said Jordan did not respond “satisfactorily” to the letter.

In the lawsuit, Ferguson alleged that Jordan violated state consumer protection law by using deceptive advertising and deceptive collection practices. The attorney general said Prehired broke the law by operating in Washington state without a license, making payment contracts unenforceable.

The attorney general’s office filed an injunction to immediately stop Jordan and Prehired from acting in Washington during the lawsuit.

The Consumer Protection Act allows the Attorney General to seek up to $7,500 for each violation, in addition to damages, costs, fees and civil penalties.

A spokesman for Prehired said the company denies the allegations.

“Prehired and Mr. Jordan are shocked and surprised by the filing of the complaint by the Washington Attorney General’s Office and the allegations it contains. We categorically reject the allegations in the complaint and look forward to defending these allegations in court,” a spokesman said.

The Attorney General’s Office has asked people who paid for online training with Prehired to file a complaint here.

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