Washington, D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) today filed its opening brief in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a family-run tech support company, Vylah Tec, LLC (“V-Tec”), after the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) used misleading evidence to convince the lower court to grant a damaging injunctive order against the company. V-Tec is a small start-up, owned by Robert Cupo, that provides tech support to customers who have purchased electronic devices from the Home Shopping Network and other shopping channels. V-Tec also generates revenue from selling third-party antivirus and other data security software.

In May, the FTC, in conjunction with the Florida Attorney General’s office, raided the company’s headquarters on suspicion of “deceptive” sales practices, but were unable to uncover any concrete evidence of wrongdoing. In court, the FTC cited two examples of recorded calls that were both mischaracterized. A Florida federal judge granted the government’s request for a preliminary injunctive order (“PI”) that turned the company’s operation over to a third-party receiver and froze the assets of Mr. Cupo and several of his family members. In August, CoA Institute filed a motion to stay the district court’s order. While that decision is still pending, today’s brief is the first in CoA Institute’s appeal of the district court’s decision.

The brief states:

“The PI was granted without benefit of an evidentiary hearing, without application of the proper legal standard for issuing a preliminary injunction, and without application of the proper legal standard for analyzing the likelihood of success on the merits. It was based on untested and facially inadequate factual allegations.

“The Government has conceded that it submitted false evidence and mischaracterized other evidence it offered to the trial court, but it has done nothing to correct the record. To the contrary, the Government insists that the lower court and this Court condone its false evidence to crush a small business and to personally destroy its managers… The Government is seeking to bulldoze V-Tec before this Court can even rule on this appeal. That is not due process, and it certainly is not justice.”

CoA Institute Senior Counsel Cynthia Crawford: “The FTC’s facts in this case are either incomplete or patently false. Without evidence, it was wrong for the district court to grant an order that is draining V-Tec’s finances and destroying its reputation. We urge the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reexamine the flawed evidence and allow the Cupo family the due process they deserve, before their company is destroyed.”

The full brief can be found here

For information regarding this press release, please contact Zachary Kurz, Director of Communications at CoA Institute: zachary.kurz@causeofaction.org