SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a South Carolina company offering a deceptive online training program that duped Washingtonians into paying $30,000 for an online course. The company, Prehired LLC, issued the following guarantee in its marketing materials: “We guarantee you land a $60k+ job offer (from a tech company YOU choose).”
This guarantee, which was only one of Prehired’s deceptive marketing claims, proved to be a lie — and, consequently, illegal. When students failed to pay on massive debt from the program, Prehired used aggressive collection techniques like lawsuits and forced arbitration to get the money.
The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, asserts Prehired and its owner, Joshua Jordan, violated the state Consumer Protection Act by engaging in deceptive advertising, as well as deceptive collection practices. The lawsuit also asserts Prehired broke the law by operating in the state without a license. Operating a private vocational school in the state without a license makes any contracts for payment unenforceable. In addition to the lawsuit, The Attorney General’s Office also will file a preliminary injunction seeking to immediately stop Jordan and his school from operating in the state while the lawsuit continues.
The precise number of Washingtonians who signed contracts with Prehired is not yet known as the Attorney General’s Office filed this action early in its investigation to stop Washingtonians from paying more to Prehired. The Attorney General’s Office already has evidence that at least 39 Washingtonians entered into contracts with Prehired, and they could collectively owe more than $1 million. If you paid Prehired for online sales training, please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.
The lawsuit will seek restitution for any Washingtonians who signed up for the online training program, as well as costs, fees and civil penalties. The Consumer Protection Act allows the Attorney General to seek up to $7,500 for every violation.
“Washingtonians forked over tens of thousands of dollars in hard-earned money based on Joshua Jordan’s lies,” Ferguson said. “I intend to make sure Jordan and his company do not prey on anyone else. I will fight to see his victims paid back and help get them out from under these illegal contracts.”
Prehired has been operating online since May 2017 and advertises itself as a “tech sales bootcamp” that prepares individuals for a career in software sales. It offers online software sales training that lasts six to 12 weeks as well as job placement through access to internal mentors who help them find employment.