Tuesday, March 19, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.
A Henderson-based telemarketing group charged with cheating consumers out of hundreds of dollars each in exchange for useless awards has agreed to repay consumers $11.3 million, the Federal Trade Commission said.
Nishika Ltd., five other companies and two individuals agreed to the multimillion-dollar settlement, the government said Monday.
The Federal Trade Commission accused the companies and James Bainbridge and Daniel Fingarette of promising consumers "fabulous prizes" if they purchased a 3-D camera for $700.
While consumers were led to believe they were winning a car or cash award, most ended up receiving worthless travel certificates, the FTC said.
None of the defendants admitted wrongdoing by settling the case. Nishika did not have a listed telephone number and could not be reached for comment.
The first settlement includes the FTC's claim for up to $11.3 million for refunds to consumers, which has been approved by two bankruptcy courts that control the defendants' assets, the FTC said.
The second proposed agreement would bar the defendants from engaging in similar deceptive practices. It requires federal court approval.
FTC spokeswoman Patricia Hensley of Seattle cautioned that the government still must collect the $11.3 million settlement. Currently, Nishika is involved in another piece of litigation, and until that is settled, consumers will not be reimbursed, Hensley said.
The FTC filed charges in November 1994 against Nishika Ltd., American 3-D Ltd., Nishika Corp., American 3-D Corp., and Nishika 3-D Camera Sales Inc., and Bainbridge, who is president, owner or has a controlling interest in the companies, all located in Henderson.
Bentley Industries Inc. of Los Angeles and its owner and president, Daniel Fingarette, also were charged, the FTC said.