By CHERI ROBERTS for Challenging the Rhetoric
Everyone has a past. We have all lived a life. The sins of one’s past do not always reflect on one’s present. However, when one’s character is called into question, those who follow that person, should know who is leading them, and where they may be being led. Especially when they are still heading in the same direction.
Abdazabal is yet another criminal face of the dubious “Liberty” or “Patriot” movement.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
On September 1, 2009, some types of obnoxious robocalls, prerecorded commercial telemarketing calls to consumers, were banned, according to a published announcement by, Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC*,
“American consumers have made it crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year. Starting September 1, this bombardment of prerecorded pitches, senseless solicitations, and malicious marketing will be illegal. If consumers think they’re being harassed by robocallers, they need to let us know, and we will go after them.”
The new requirements, as part of amendments to the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), made it so private individuals had to ‘opt in’ to receive these mostly unwanted, and often harassing, calls. Those who continue making the calls, without the consumer’s permission, can get hit with a fine of up to $16,000 per phone call. Many companies that participate in this practice continue to call those who are registered int the do-not-call data-bank. Most use fictitious names, if they give one at all.
Automated messages that are purely informational, or those from politicians, charities/nonprofits, banks and telephone were exempt from the new regulations. They also did not cover credit card companies, or legitimate debt collectors.
Two months later, Bundy militia supporter and Florida’s Liberty Belle leader, Jaime Spears Aldazabal, and her colleagues, were busted. Big time.
Jaime, JPM Accelerated Services, and Ixe Accelerated Center
On November 30, 2009 three cases were filed against robocall telemarketer scammers using robocalls to bilk thousands of people out of millions of dollars.
Aldazabal, known at the time as Jaime M. Hawley, was a major player in JPM Accelerated Services (JPM) and was named as a defendant. She is the owner of the Ixe Accelerated Center.
Abdazabal was not just someone who got caught up in another’s scam, but was one of the creators, and executed the scam through her company; thieving money from innocent victims and burying her friends and colleagues in legal and financial troubles for the rest of her, and their, lives.
According to a December 8, 2009, FTC press release,
“According to the three FTC complaints, Economic Relief Technologies, LLC, Dynamic Financial Group (U.S.A.) Inc., and JPM Accelerated Services (JPM) and related defendants made illegal pre-recorded robocalls to consumers, using names like ‘card services,’ ‘credit card services’ or ‘account services.’ The robocalls allegedly claimed the defendants’ services could lower the interest rate on consumers’ credit cards. In each case, consumers who pressed 1 after hearing the automated call were transferred to live telemarketers who allegedly misrepresented that consumers could dramatically lower the rates on their credit card. The telemarketers also said consumers would save thousands of dollars in a short period of time by lowering their interest rates and would be able to pay off their debts faster – for an up-front fee ranging from $495 to $1,495. The defendants then falsely stated that if consumers did not save a ‘guaranteed’ amount – typically $2,500 or more – they could get a full refund of the up-front fee. However, after securing the fee, the defendants allegedly did not negotiate lower rates on behalf of consumers and provided few refunds to those who were dissatisfied with the service.“
Aldazabal, and her company, made robocalls to sell “worthless credit-card interest-rate reduction programs“. Some of the up-front fees, per individual, were as much as $995. The entire thing was a complete sham.
The defendants broke the law by making illegal robocalls to consumers, and their deceptive sales pitches violated the FTC Act and the FTC’s TSR.
Additional charges included:
- Calling consumers whose phone numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Calling consumers who had previously asked not to be called.
- Failing to transmit their caller ID information, as required.
- “Spoofing” or masking their caller ID information.
- Failing to promptly identify themselves, the purpose of their call, and/or the nature of the goods or services they were selling.
- Improperly abandoning calls.
- Failing to make required disclosures in their robocalls.
The case against JPM Accelerated Services that was filed on November 30, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division against:
- JPM Accelerated Services Inc.
- IXE Accelerated Financial Centers LLC
- IXE Accelerated Service Centers Inc.
- MGA Accelerated Services Inc.
- World Class Savings Inc.
- Accelerated Savings Inc.
- B&C Financial Group Inc.
- Jeanie B. Robertson
- Brooke Robertson
- Ivan X. Estrella
- Jaime M. Hawley
- Kimberly Nelson
- Paige Dent
- Alexander J. Dent
- Micha S. Romano
- Ashley M. Westbrook
As for the other two cases; Economic Relief Technologies was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division; Dynamic Financial Group was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
By December 6, 2010, the FTC announced they had permanently shut-down Aldazabal, JPM and IXE’,
“The agency reached a settlement that permanently bans the two related operations from making robocalls and selling debt relief services. The settlement orders are the latest in a series of enforcement actions the FTC has taken to rein in robocallers, especially those who try to take advantage of consumers affected by the economic downturn.
According to the FTC, JPM Accelerated Services and related defendants made thousands of illegal pre-recorded robocalls to consumers, identifying themselves only as “card services” and offering lower credit card interest rates. Consumers who pressed “1″ after hearing the automated pitch were transferred to live telemarketers who falsely told consumers that JPM’s services would allow them to dramatically lower their credit card interest rates.
The complaint alleged that the telemarketers charged an up-front fee typically ranging from $495 to $995, and promised consumers they would save thousands of dollars in a short period of time as a result of the lower interest rates, and that they would be able to pay off their debts faster. The defendants also falsely stated that if consumers did not save thousands of dollars from lowered interest rates, they would receive a full refund of the up-front fee.”
On December 31, 2009, a preliminary injunction was filed against JPM, Abdazabal and others.
The FTC’s investigation into these individuals, and their companies, was aided by, The U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Attorneys General of Florida, Maine, Missouri, Washington State, and West Virginia; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs; the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs; the Tennessee Regulatory Authority; the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection; the State of New York, Executive Department, Consumer Protection Board; the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission; and the Toronto Strategic Partnership, which includes as member agencies the Competition Bureau Canada, the Toronto Police Service Fraud Squad – Mass Marketing Section, the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Section, the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading. Valuable assistance also was provided by the Better Business Bureaus of Metro Atlanta, Athens, and Northeast Georgia; Central, Northern & Western Arizona; San Diego; Metropolitan New York; and Central Florida.
Less than a month later, on January 25, 2010, the FTC filed a response to the defendant’s motion to dismiss.
The motion to dismiss was denied and by February 16, 2011, the FTC filed for a permanent injunction against the accused.
On that same day, the judges order was received.
The final judgement and permanent order came down on Abdazabal with judgments of more than $5.9 million against her and the other defendants associated with JPM.
Jaime’s $$$ Victims
A year and a half later, on September 9, 2013, the FTC began reimbursing victims for damages caused by Abdazabal, JPM, and her criminal cohorts. In a press release the FTC stated,
“The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refund checks to consumers in America and Canada who were victimized by a fraudulent telemarketing operation that used pre-recorded calls, or robocalls, to pitch phony credit card interest rate reduction programs.
The refunds stem from a 2010 settlement with the operators of a robocall telemarketing scheme known as JPM Accelerated Services (JPM).”
At any time Abdazabal is proven to have, or have access to, funds, she is legally liable to pay back a whole lot of money as part of the court order.
Still Playing With Other People’s Lives and Money
Buyer beware. This is not a woman you want to go into business with, nor have handling your money. And she hasn’t stopped trying to.
In the spring of 2015, Abdazabal tried, and failed, to involve another unnamed company in a similar scam until PayPal got involved and flagged the online account, notifying the company, and the FTC, to transactions. The company itself was innocent.
Currently Abdazabal maintains donation accounts, along with her compatriot, Sarah Redd Buck and others, managing funds for those jailed for their participation in the 2014 Bundy Ranch and the 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge armed standoffs by militants.
There are 19 co-defendants in Nevada and 26 in Oregon awaiting trial.
It can be noted, that upon catching wind of the writing of this article, Abdazabal tried to preempt its publishing by making a public threat on Facebook, saying she was going to “8-mile” my ass, i.e. gang jump me.
This is far from the first threat directed at myself and other reporters covering these cases. Abdazabal and her friends have participated in an ongoing concerted effort against journalists, and others, who practice their first amendment right by voicing their opinion, or reporting on, the Bundy militia cases; her noxious behavior has included: doxxing, cyberstalking, slandering, and other forms of online harassment.
*The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices. Consumers who receive prerecorded telemarketing calls but have not agreed to get them should file a complaint with the Commission, either on the donotcall.gov Web site or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
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Checkout these other recent articles by Cheri Roberts …
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- BREAKING NEWS: Ammon Bundy’s Oregon Attorney, Mike Arnold, QUITS!
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- Bundy Co-Defendant, Jon Ritzheimer, Already Taking Advantage of Modified Pre-Trail Release Conditions
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- Bundy Supporter and The Voice of Idaho’s Michael Emry Arrested by FBI
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