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Final default judgment granted against companies for subscription scam

Special to The Leader

AUSTIN – The Office of the Attorney General secured a Final Default Judgment on Friday halting three Oregon-based corporations from offering subscription renewal services. The judgment stems from a lawsuit against Liberty Publishers Inc., Express Publishers Service, Inc. and Orbital Publishing Group, Inc. who violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The named companies deceived Texas consumers into paying for publication subscription renewals by sending out notices for magazines and newspapers, but were not authorized to act as agents for the periodicals. Texas Consumers reported paying 100 to 200 percent more than they would have if they renewed using an authorized sales agent of the publisher. The Travis County District Court found that the deceptive companies conducted at least 106 violations of the Texas Business and Commerce Code and granted the State $424,000 in civil penalties. The subscription companies did not file an answer nor did they appear for hearings.

Defendants mailed bogus renewal offers to subscribers for the following Texas publications: Austin American-Statesman, Austin Business Journal, Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Texas Fish & Game, Texas Monthly and Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine.

Renewal offers were also sent to a number of subscribers for the following national publications: The American Spectator Magazine, Barron’s Magazine, Catholic Digest, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Harper’s Magazine, Mother Earth News, National Enquirer Magazine, National Geographic, National Review Magazine, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Science News, Southern Living, The Economist, The Word Among Us, Time Magazine, TV Guide, U.S. News & World Report, Utne Reader and The Wall Street Journal.

To view a copy of the Final Default Judgment click here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/11_Final_Default_Judgment.pdf?cachebuster:21