Editor’s note: This story has been updated to specify that the payment made by Mountain View was a settlement rather than a fine.
BROOMFIELD — Mountain View Publishers Inc., the Broomfield-based publisher of Jackpot Journal, has settled for $250,000 with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who alleges deceptive trade practices related to millions of mailers the company sent informing recipients that they’d won a large prize.
“The mailers used misleading and deceptive language to persuade consumers that they could claim this money if they signed the mailer and returned a small fee or, in some cases, shipping and handling,” according to a news release from the AG’s office. “In fine print hidden often at the bottom and back of the mailer, however, the mailers stated the consumer was instead subscribing to a quarterly Jackpot Journal magazine. And then, once Mountain View had a consumer’s bank account or credit-card information, the company signed the consumer up for an automatically renewing subscription of about $33 every three months.”
Jackpot Journal is a publication that claims to provide readers with information about contests and prizes available to win.
The average age of subscribers in Colorado is 80, according to Weiser.
“Mountain View Publishers operates on a national level and has preyed on our country’s most vulnerable residents,” Weiser said in a prepared statement. “The company used underhanded tactics to convince recipients that they were going to receive a large sum of money if they sent a small sum back, when in reality they only received a magazine subscription they did not ask for. This practice was both unfair and unconscionable, and such actions cannot be tolerated.”
Mountain View was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in 2013 by Robert Miller, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, is the president of the company.
“Mountain View Publishers is proud of its unrivaled publications that are enjoyed by its subscribers for their timely, enjoyable and informative content,” the company said through an attorney. “The company cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s staff and many of the challenged practices were discontinued voluntarily some time ago. Mountain View Publishers voluntarily agreed to the settlement, resolving the matter without any finding or admission of wrongdoing, in order to avoid the distractions and costs associated with litigation. While it disagrees with the Attorney General’s allegations and is disappointed with the office’s failure to present an accurate and complete picture, such as Mountain View Publishers’ high rate of customer satisfaction, the company is nevertheless pleased to put this matter behind it so that it can continue to deliver fun, entertaining and useful products that its customers love.”