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Federal Trade Commission v. Mobe Ltd.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

July 25, 2019

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
MOBE LTD. et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the following motions:

MOTION: RECEIVER'S VERIFIED SECOND APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED (Doc. 175)
FILED: May 8, 2019
THEREON it is Recommended that the motion be GRANTED.
MOTION: RECEIVER'S VERIFIED SECOND APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED BY AKERMAN LLP (Doc. 176)
FILED: May 8, 2019
THEREON it is Recommended that the motion be GRANTED in part.

         I. Background

         On June 4, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed its Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Other Equitable Relief pursuant to Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b) (the FTC Act). Doc. 1. The FTC also moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b) for a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, other equitable relief, and an order to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not issue against Defendants. Doc. 3. At the same time, the FTC made an application for a temporary receiver. Doc. 6. The next day, the Court granted the FTC's motions, issued a temporary restraining order, and appointed Mark J. Benet as temporary receiver (the Receiver). Doc. 13.

         In sum, in the Complaint, the FTC alleged that Defendants operated a fraudulent internet business education program called “My Online Business Education, ” or “MOBE, ” through which Defendants claimed they would reveal a “simple 21-step system that will show consumers how to quickly and easily start their own online business and make substantial income.” Doc. 1 at 2. However, the FTC further alleged that, contrary to Defendants' representations, “the vast majority of consumers who join the MOBE program and purchase . . . costly MOBE memberships lose money.” Id. at 3. According to the FTC, Defendants defrauded thousands of consumers who collectively paid Defendants over $125, 000, 000.00 based on misrepresentations by Defendants concerning MOBE. Id. at 3-4.

         On August 17, 2018, the Receiver first moved to recover payment for services rendered both by the Receiver (Doc. 92, the Receiver's first motion to pay himself) and by counsel hired by the Receiver to assist him (Doc. 93, the Receiver's first motion to pay counsel). The motions were unopposed. Docs. 92 at 23; 93 at 12. The undersigned recommend that the Receiver's first motion to pay himself be granted in full and recommended that the Receiver's first motion to pay counsel be granted in part and denied in part such that the undersigned reduced certain of the rates requested as unsupported and set rates that the Court deemed reasonable. Doc. 110. No. party objected to that Report, and the Court adopted the Report. Doc. 114.

         Now before the Court is the Receiver's second, unopposed motions to pay himself and his counsel. Docs. 175; 176.

         II. ...


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