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Whitaker Misled FTC Investigators About Actions at ‘Scam’ Business: Report

Documents from the Federal Trade Commission suggest Attorney General Matthew Whitaker misled investigators about his role as an advisory board member for a Miami company that’s been accused of being a “scam” business, Bloomberg reports. In an internal 2017 email obtained by the outlet, an FTC employee reportedly notified his colleagues that Whitaker had asserted he “never emailed or wrote to consumers” while he was consulting for the company—but that statement appears to be false. In 2015, Whitaker reportedly wrote a letter to a disgruntled World Patent Marketing customer who had threatened to report the company to the Better Business Bureau. “I am assuming you understand there could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you if that is in fact what you and your ‘group’ are doing,” Whitaker reportedly wrote, noting that he was a former U.S. attorney in Iowa.

The FTC investigated the company after customers complained that it was an “invention promotion scheme” that scammed “millions of dollars from consumers.” Whitaker was reportedly a part of the advisory board from late 2014 up until 2017, and received at least $9,375 from the company.