Matthew Whitaker, appointed acting attorney general on Wednesday after Jeff Sessions resigned, was a paid advisory-board member of an invention-promotion company shut down by federal regulators last year as an alleged scam.
The Federal Trade Commission last year accused World Patent Marketing Inc., of Miami Beach, Fla., of scamming would-be inventors by charging them thousands of dollars to patent and promote their inventions. The company “provided almost no service in return” and threatened people who complained, the regulator said.
The FTC alleged that the scheme, which it said was promoted through “bogus ‘success stories’ and testimonials,” began in early 2014. The agency found that consumers lost about $26 million; some allegedly ended up in debt or lost their life savings.