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§ 2453. PRACTICES PROHIBITED
(a) Unfair methods of competition in commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
(b) It is the intent of the legislature that in construing subsection (a) of this section, the courts of this state will be guided by the construction of similar terms contained in section 5 (a) (1) of the Federal Trade Commission act as from time to time amended by the Federal Trade Commission and the courts of the United States.
(c) The attorney general shall make rules and regulations, when necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of this chapter, relating to unfair methods of competition in commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. The rules and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts interpreting the Federal Trade Commission Act.
(d) Violation of a rule or regulation as made by the attorney general is prima facie proof of the commission of an unfair or deceptive act in commerce.
(e) The provisions of subsections (a), (c) and (d) of this section shall also be applicable to real estate transactions.
SUBJECT: CONSUMER FRAUD - CHAIN DISTRIBUTOR SCHEMES
ATTORNEY GENERAL - CONSUMER FRAUD DIVISION
ADOPTED PURSUANT TO 9 V.S.A. SECTION 2453(c)
RULE CF 101
CF 101.01 Unfair Trade Practice
CF 101.02 Definitions
CF 101.01 Unfair Trade Practice.
The promotion or offer of, or the grant of participation in a chain distributor scheme in connection with the solicitation of investments from members of the public constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade act and practice in commerce under 9 V.S.A. Section 2453(a). When so used the scheme serves as a lure to improvident and uneconomical investment. Many individuals lack commercial expertise and anticipate unrealistic profits or economic gain through use of the chance to further perpetuate a chain of distributors, without regard to actual market conditions affecting further distribution and sale of the property purchased by them or its market acceptance by final users or consumers.
Substantial economic losses to participating distributors have occurred and will inevitably occur by reason of their reliance on perpetuation of the chain distributor scheme as a source of profit.
CF 101.02 Definitions.
(1) "Chain distributor scheme" is a sales device whereby a person, upon a condition that he make an investment, is granted a license or right to solicit or recruit for profit or economic gain one or more additional persons who also are granted such license or right upon condition of making an investment and may further perpetuate the chain of persons who are granted such license or right upon such condition. A limitation as to the number of persons who may participate, or the presence of additional conditions affecting eligibility for the above license or right to recruit or solicit or the receipt of profits therefrom, does not change the identity of the scheme as a chain distributor scheme.
(2) "Investment" is any acquisition, for a consideration other than personal services, of property, tangible or intangible, and includes, without limitation, franchises, business opportunities and services. It does not include sales demonstration equipment and materials furnished at cost for use in making sales and not for resale.
Other Pages of Interest
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