FTC: Company Sold Bogus ‘Green’ Certifications To ‘Anyone Willing To Pay A Fee’; Firm Known As ‘Tested Green’ Hawked ‘Worthless Labels,’ Agency Says

A company that called itself “Nonprofit Management LLC” and did business as “Tested Green” sold bogus environmental certifications and ramped up the deception by implying it was independently endorsed by the National Green Business Association and the National Association of Government Contractors, the FTC said.

Not only were the environmental certifications bogus, the purported endorsements were deceptive because Jeremy Ryan Claeys, who owned both Nonprofit Management and Tested Green, also owned the purported associations that provided the endorsements, the FTC said.

“It’s really tough for most people to know whether green or environmental claims are credible,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The purported “green” operation was designed to harvest money, the FTC said.

“Tested Green never tested any of the companies it provided with environmental certifications, and would ‘certify’ anyone willing [to] pay a fee of either $189.95 for a ‘Rapid’ certification or $549.95 for a ‘Pro’ certification,” the FTC said. “After customers paid, Tested Green gave them its logo and the link to a ‘certification verification page’ that could be used to advertise their ‘certified’ status. The agency charged that the respondents violated the FTC Act by providing the means to deceive consumers.”

Although Tested Green billed itself “the nation’s leading certification program for businesses that produce green products or use green processes in the manufacture of goods and services,” the labels it sold were worthless, the FTC said.

Claeys settled the FTC civil case by agreeing to a ban on making deceptive claims.

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