The government’s $110 million lawsuit involving sweepstakes that no one ever won has expanded to target C. Floyd Anderson, founder of the Kansas City-area group behind the alleged schemes.
Anderson had been skipped over in the February complaint that the Federal Trade Commission and Missouri’s attorney general brought against 10 companies and their owners Kevin Brandes and William Graham.
A federal judge subsequently put a temporary receiver in charge of the businesses and froze Brandes’ and Graham’s assets, recently granting them living expenses totaling $18,000 a month.
An updated complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City adds Anderson and a Florida company he owns. It says they, too, participated in allegedly deceptive practices that took in $110 million from consumers over five years.
Anderson could not be reached for comment and is not yet represented in the case by an attorney.
Anderson, who is Brandes’ stepfather, had founded the oldest company in the group — Opportunities Unlimited Publications Inc. — in 1974. He also founded the related business Contest America Publishers Inc. in 1992.
Both companies, according to the lawsuit, deceived consumers with mailings that led them to believe they had won or were about to win contests with virtually unsolvable top-prize puzzles.
The contest companies operated successfully for Anderson for years, and he also became the owner of the former Northland National Bank for a time. He received local attention for his Ward Parkway mansion, purchased in 1991 for nearly $2 million.
More recently, Anderson and his wife Sharon Brandes paid $5.75 million for a sprawling complex in Hawaii called Waterfalling Estate. A real estate broker described the property as a nearly 11,000-square-foot home with an Olympic-sized infinity pool, tennis stadium and basketball court on 9.44 acres with two waterfalls on an ocean-side bluff. They have sold the Hawaii estate.
Records show Anderson also had sold his interest in Opportunities Unlimited and Contest America to Kevin Brandes and Graham in an unusual 2015 transaction that also included the brother of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. The government’s complaint against the companies targeted their activities beginning in 2013.
An FTC spokesperson could not be reached.
Anderson also had owned yet another company in the group, AOSR Corp., as recently as July 2017, according to the government’s updated complaint. AOSR, the government says, sold its assets last year to Reveal Publications LLC that is owned by Graham. AOSR and Reveal are both named as defendants in the FTC lawsuit.
The updated complaint said Anderson still owns Montelago Marketing Inc., a Florida company that also was added as having taken part in the schemes. The word Montelago appeared in an earlier filing the FTC submitted in the case, a listing of transfers of more than $1.3 million to “Summit Mgmt Team Montelago” during 2016 and 2017.
Other companies named in the FTC and state complaint are Next-Gen Inc., Westport Enterprises Inc., Opportunities Management Co., Summit Management Team LLC, Lighthouse Fla Enterprises LLC and Gamer Designs LLC.