Court Blocks Fraudulent Business From Operating In State
HARTFORD— A Connecticut Superior Court judge has barred Sports Media Advertising, a Texas-based company, from doing business in Connecticut until the court finds that it has complied with a civil investigative demand issued in connection with an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General.
“Sports Media Advertising was shamelessly attempting to steal money from local businesses by preying on their proud support for our student athletes. When their scam was uncovered, they sought to evade accountability by hiding from our investigators. I want to thank the attorneys in my office who doggedly pursued these scammers across state lines to protect Connecticut consumers. This order sends a strong message that the Office of the Attorney General will not rest in our efforts to hold scammers accountable and protect Connecticut families and businesses,” said Attorney General Tong.
Attorney General William Tong opened an investigation last year and warned consumers to avoid doing business with the Texas-based firm accused of scamming Connecticut businesses and schools. The investigation was triggered by a report from the Vernon Police Department involving Rockville High School and a local Vernon business. The alleged fraud was detected when the business accidentally sent a $1,000 check intended for SMA directly to the school. The school had no arrangement with SMA, but received an unsolicited package of 25 low-quality T-shirts with misspelled school and business logos.
SMA has also been known as Boost Sports Integrative Media, LLC and High School Sports Advertising. The company allegedly targets communities by contacting local businesses claiming to be working with a local high school sports team to create various items such as tee shirts, cups, banners, etc., to promote their sports program. The businesses are offered “sponsorship” opportunities to have their logos displayed on these items, together with the school logo, for a price of $300-$1,000. The high schools reportedly know nothing about this arrangement and do not receive any of the money.
The Office of the Attorney General initially sent a civil investigation demand to SMA last year, requesting information on the company’s business practices in Connecticut. The company attempted to evade the investigation by refusing to accept the demand, and the Office of the Attorney General ultimately served the documents by hand. When the company still ignored the demand, the Office of the Attorney General filed an application with the Connecticut Superior Court to block the company from doing business in Connecticut.
If you have been a victim of such a scam, or have information on potentially illegal actions by SMA, please file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint/ or call 860-808-5318.
Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan Blake, Kim McGee and Consumer Protection Department Head Mike Wertheimer are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.