While Digital Altitude has acknowledged it made misrepresentations to the general public, the company and its principals are denying responsibility.
Specifically, Michael Force and Mary Dee have raised failure to exhaust
administrative remedies, good faith, offsets/set-offs, informed consent, and no reasonable basis for the requested relief as affirmative defenses.
With respect to each affirmative defense;
Failure to exhaust administrative remedies would see the FTC back off an injunction and try to work things out with Digital Altitude at an administrative level.
This would presumably see Digital Altitude continue to operate, which given the allegations leveled at the company, seems ludicrous.
“Hi there. We know you’ve ripped off a ton of people out of a ton of money… but let’s sit down and have a chat about it.
Y’know, work out where it all went wrong over a coffee.”
Great outcome for the defendants but a slap in the face for consumers the FTC is tasked to protect.
Good Faith? Can you make a bunch of income potential promises you acknowledge are gross misrepresentations in good faith?
Informed consent sounds like the old “everybody agreed to be scammed so we didn’t scam anyone” chestnut.
And no reasonable basis? Considering the FTC has presented its case and the court has already granted an injunction on the likelihood of the FTC prevailing, I’d say the basis of the case is pretty reasonable.
Offsets/set-offs has me a bit stumped. Sounds like they’re trying to bargain a reduction in what’s been seized based on what Digital Altitude and its principals might already owe their victims?
I don’t really see how that factors into anything but do bear in mind I’m not a lawyer.
Another interesting tidbit from the filed Joint Report is the increase in estimated damages.
Previously the FTC pegged consumer losses as a result of Digital Altitude scamming them at around $14 million.
Ongoing analysis by the Digital Altitude Receiver has seen consumer losses blow out to around $54 million.
And bear in the mind the FTC stress that’s a conservative estimate.