February 9, 2004
ORDERS CECIL COUNTY MAN TO STOP OFFERING ADULT WEBSITE BUSINESS
Man Is Alleged to Have Defrauded Buyers From as Far Away as United Kingdom
J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that his office's Securities
Division issued a Summary Order to Cease and
Desist against Jean Marc Anthony DeFague, 21, of North East, Maryland.
The order charges DeFague with violating the antifraud, registration,
and disclosure provisions of the Maryland Business Opportunity
Sales Act by selling adult website "business opportunities" from
his personal home computer.
to the order, DeFague advertised the sale of adult website businesses
on the Internet auction site eBay. The order alleges
that DeFague told prospective buyers, some from as far away as
the United Kingdom, that he would sell them a website domain
name, adult content, site support and ongoing assistance to allow
to operate the websites as a profitable business venture. According
to the order, in some cases, DeFague guaranteed buyers that they
could earn as much as $500 per week from the adult websites through
subscriptions. The order alleges that some buyers paid DeFague
$3,000 or more for a website business but never received what
he promised them, and never heard from him again.
order alleges that DeFague's offers and sales violated Maryland's
Business Opportunity Act. The order charges DeFague with defrauding
buyers, making misrepresentations about the website business
opportunity, failing to register with the Securities Divsion,
and failing to
provide disclosure to prospective buyers. According to the
order, DeFague must immediately cease and desist offering or
business opportunities in or from Maryland, pending a hearing.
We want to make sure that no one else is harmed by Mr. DeFague's
fraudulent business opportunity scheme, “ said Attorney General
Curran. By issuing a summary order, we can put an immediate stop
to his activities."
noted that it is always a good idea to check with his office
first, before investing any money in a home-based
opportunity. Curran said that anyone can check out these
opportunities, and check out securities, stockbrokers,
and investment advisers,
by calling the Securities Division at 410-576-6360, or
visiting his website at www.oag.state.md.us.