November 27, 2012
Wretched Owner of BlueHippo To Pay Back Texans He Ripped Off
The Texas Attorney General's Office has announced an agreed judgment with the guy behind the BlueHippo uber-scam that defrauded consumers in Texas and across the country.
The sole shareholder of the defunct Maryland-based company, whose advertisements for computers bought on layaway targeted low-income folks, has agreed to pay $175,000 in restitution for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, according to the AG's Office.
The company went under in 2009 after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission poked around and discovered it collected $15 million while sending -- get this -- only one computer. And according to the FTC, that computer was probably shipped by mistake.
According to the AG, "The BlueHiippo firms violated state law when it took Texans' money and refused to deliver the computers or equipment customers purchased. The State's investigation also showed that BlueHippo unlawfully refused to honor refund requests and withdrew payments from customers' bank accounts without their permission."
Additionally, a Travis County judge issued a permanent injunction barring former owner Joseph Rensin "from attempting to collect approximately $2.3 million in debts that Texans incurred because of their dealings with BlueHippo. The court also barred Rensin and his businesses from reporting Texas customers' nonpayment of the debt to any of the nation's credit reporting agencies."
Wow. We're used to writing about scams, but BlueHippo really stands out, and not just because of its stupid name. Seriously, how can you call yourself "BlueHippo" and not be expected to be investigated by the FTC?
We hope Rensin actually returns the money, and we seriously hope this guy doesn't get the urge to start another business again.