On Friday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow detailed disturbing new allegations about a company new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker worked with as a board member.
World Patent Marketing reportedly promised its customers it would patent and market their ideas and inventions — and then ran off with their money. The scam led to a Federal Trade Commission probe and a $25 million settlement, but as a Maddow noted, they did more than just allegedly defraud customers.
“According to the FTC, the other part of their scam is when their customers started to complain about having been defrauded, about having had all their money taken for nothing, about having been scammed, this company that Whitaker was a part of, World Patent Marketing, would then threaten their customers,” the host said.
Citing the FTC complaint, Maddow described “the blunt nature of some of the company’s threats to its disgruntled customers.”
WPM, the complaint read, sent customers a blog post about a would-be client who “was stopped, detained and expelled by [the company’s] intimidating security team, all ex-Israeli special ops and trained in Krav Maga, one of the most deadly of the martial arts.”
“The World Patent Marketing security team are the kinds of guys trained to knock out first and ask questions later,” the company’s braggadocious post continued.
The company would also “write threatening e-mails to customers who might be willing to complain about having been defrauded by the firm” — including one sent by Whitaker “in which he cited his status as a former U.S. Attorney and then threatened the disgruntled customer with ‘serious civil and criminal consequences if he dared to complain,'” the host noted.
Maddow added that MSNBC producers reached out to the Justice Department to determine whether the acting AG “has been advised by the FBI as to whether or not he personally is a target or subject of the FBI’s criminal investigation in this matter” and had not yet heard back.