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Photo scam victims entitled to refunds

Customers who bought photographic services from Tomorrow's Treasures can cancel their contracts and get a 50-percent refund under a settlement reached Friday in Marion County Circuit Court.

The state attorney general's office discovered that the New Jersey-based company was selling service contracts without clearly telling customers about cancellation rights -- a violation of state and federal law.

The services were sold to customers throughout Oregon, including some in Medford and Grants Pass.

Investigators found that the company, promising free gifts, lured newly married couples into signing long-term contracts with high interest rates for photographic services. The contract left couples paying in advance, with interest, for 300 photo enlargements that would take most consumers about 20 years to use, investigators said.

The settlement covers Tomorrow's Treasures Inc.; its president, George Braun; and Federal Credit Bureau -- a Delaware company owned by Braun that collected on contracts. One TTI sales agent, Phillip Rilling of Vancouver, Wash., was also named in the settlement agreement.

Under the agreement, TTI agrees to cancel contracts and give 50 percent refunds if either the company or the Oregon Department of Justice receive requests by Feb. 28, 1999.

Customers wanting refunds should write to Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection, Attention: Tomorrow's Treasures, 1162 Court St., Salem, OR 97310. Customers can call the state's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 for more information.

TTI also agreed to pay $15,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice for its consumer protection and education fund.