FTC Action Leads to Arrest Warrant for ‘Cash Grant Institute’ Robocaller Who Ignored Court Order to Pay More Than $20 Million in Penalties
In a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, a federal judge ordered the arrest and incarceration of Paul Navestad, known legally as Paul Richard Jones, for violating a court order requiring him to pay more than $20 million for his role in a phony government grant scheme.
The court had ordered Navestad to pay $20 million in civil penalties – the largest civil penalty against a defendant in an FTC case – and give up more than $1.1 million in ill-gotten gains, for making millions of robocalls falsely claiming consumers could get grants from federal, state, and local governments, private foundations, and individuals. At the FTC’s request, the court subsequently found him in contempt for ignoring the order.
Navestad is believed to be residing overseas. The court has ordered his arrest upon his return to the United States and his incarceration until he pays the money due.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York issued the arrest warrant on December 2, 2013.