Court has jurisdiction over the Plaintiff and Defendants Bigsmart.com,
LLC and Richard V. Slaback and the subject matter of this action. The
Complaint states a claim for relief under 17 M.R.S.A. § 2305 (Multilevel
distributorship, pyramid club), 5 M.R.S.A. § 207 (Unfair Trade
Practices Act), 13-A M.R.S.A. §§ 1201-1207 (Maine Business
Corporation Act) and 32 M.R.S.A. §§ 4681-4690 (Transient Sales
used in this Consent Decree and Order, the terms "multilevel distributorship"
and "pyramid club" shall have the meanings ascribed to them by 17 M.R.S.A.
used in this Consent Decree and Order the phrase "retail sales of goods
and services" shall exclude the sale of internet malls.
Bigsmart.com, LLC, and all its agents, subsidiaries, assigns or any
persons acting for Bigsmart.com or under its control are permanently
enjoined from engaging in any of the following acts or practices:
or operating within the State of Maine or marketing to Maine residents
any lottery as defined in 17 M.R.S.A. § 2305.
fees, dues or anything of value from any Maine resident for membership
in any Bigsmart.com multi-level program, or for the purchase or sale
of, or the right to operate a so-called "internet mall," unless any
subsequent payments or commissions to be received by the Maine resident
are based exclusively on retail sales of goods or services.
commissions or making payments of any kind to any person for the recruitment
into any Bigsmart.com multi- level program of any Maine resident.
claiming or misrepresenting, by means of any medium accessible to Maine
residents, that any retailer has entered into a contract to provide
discounts or commissions to or through Bigsmart.com, or exaggerating
the level of such discounts or commissions.
that this Consent Decree implies or suggests that the State of Maine
has in any way approved or endorsed Bigsmart.com's multi -level program,
or other business practices of Bigsmart.com in any way.
any business whatever in the State of Maine or with or involving Maine
residents in any way unless and until Bigsmart.com shall have applied
to the Secretary of State for authority to do business in the State
of Maine pursuant to 13-A M.R.S.A. §§ 1201 - 1217, and obtained
such authority; and unless and until Bigsmart.com shall have registered
with the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation and complied
in all respects with the Transient Sales Act, 32 M.R.S.A. §§
4681 through 4690. Nothing is this subparagraph precludes Bigsmart.com
from applying for a waiver pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. § 4685-A. Bigsmart.com
will notify all Maine residents who participate in its multi-level program
that they may have to register under the Transient Sales Act. This subparagraph
is effective fourteen business days from the entry of this consent decree
LLC shall provide the State of Maine with a full accounting, detailing
all payments received from, or made to Maine residents since the inception
of Bigsmart.com's multi-level program. This accounting shall be provided
to the Department of the Attorney General within two weeks of the effective
date of this Consent Decree.
one month of the effective date of this Consent Decree, Bigsmart.com
shall agree to repurchase the internet malls of all Maine residents
who purchased internet malls from Bigsmart.com. For every Maine resident
identified in the accounting provided pursuant to the preceding paragraph
Bigsmart.com shall repurchase malls by paying an amount equal to the
total of all payments made to Bigsmart.com by such Maine resident, less
the amount of any payments made by Bigsmart.com to such Maine resident.
Within six weeks of the effective date of this Consent Decree, Bigsmart.com
shall provide a sworn and notarized statement to the Department of the
Attorney General, providing a list of all refunds issued pursuant to
this paragraph, showing in each case the amount of the refund and how
it was made (by check or credit card refund), together with a copy of
each check or credit card refund slip and the name and address of the
recipient in each case. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if any Maine
resident expresses an intent to retain any internet mall previously
purchased from Bigsmart.com, the refund may include a deduction of $99.95
for each such mall.
shall provide notice to each Maine resident who owns a Bigsmart.com
mall at the time of the effective date of this Consent Decree and Order
regarding this refund offer in the form set forth in Exhibit A to this
Consent Decree and Order.
IV. CIVIL PENALTIES
Defendants Bigsmart.com and Richard V. Slaback are ordered to pay the
State of Maine Department of Attorney General, pursuant to 5 M.R.S.A.
§ 209, civil penalties in the amount of $40,000.
V. ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS
Defendants shall pay to the Attorney General, pursuant to 5 M.R.S.A.
§ 209, its costs of bringing this lawsuit including attorneys fees
VI. RETENTION OF JURISDICTION
is retained by this Court for the purpose of enabling any of the parties
to this Consent Decree and Order to apply to the Court at any time for
further order and directions as may be necessary or appropriate for
the construction, enforcement or execution of this Consent Decree and
Order. Each and every violation of this Consent Decree and Order shall
be treated as a separate contempt thereof.
VII. EFFECTIVE DATE
Order shall be effective immediately upon entry.
LINDA CONTI J. - Maine Bar No. 3638
Assistant Attorney General
6 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0006
Attorneys for the State of Maine
SETH W. BREWSTER- Me. Bar No.
3741Verrill & Dana, LLP
One Portland Square
P.O. Box 586
Portland, Maine 04112-0586
Tel. (207) 774-4000
Attorney for Defendants,
Richard V. Slaback and Bigsmart.com, LLC
The undersigned acknowledges that he is principal in Bigsmart.com,
LLC and by his signature hereon acknowledges that he is bound by the
provisions provided in Part III herein.
RICHARD V. SLABACK
President and CEO of Bigsmart.com, LLC
JUSTICE, SUPERIOR COURT