New York, NY – The online ad firm that was acquired by the Federal Trade Commission this week for a reported $6 billion may have misled consumers in an attempt to sell them false ads, according to an antitrust lawsuit filed this week.
The FTC has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court alleging that the firm’s former CEO, Joseph P. O’Donnell, used his position to “unfairly benefit” himself and his wife by using his own network of online advertising platforms to target them for ad impressions, according the complaint.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the FTC, claims that O’Brien violated his fiduciary duty to his clients by “using his own ad sales company, a subsidiary of his company, to promote and advertise his own online ad products.”
The complaint also alleges that O’sBrien “did not maintain his own separate sales company to market and sell his own branded products and services and did not disclose to his customers that he sold his own products and sold his branded services.”
The FTC claims that it has a duty to protect consumers from misleading ads and that O’thern’s actions caused consumers to pay for “false, deceptive, or misleading” online advertising.
O’Donnell left the company in July of 2015.
O’sDonnell is not named as a defendant in the complaint, which is not intended to be a lawsuit against O’Connell.
O’donnell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The O’Connor family did not respond to an email seeking comment.
O’donhn did not directly answer questions about his future with the company, saying he has “nothing to share at this time.”
O’Brien did not return multiple requests for an interview.
The suit alleges that a number of O’sonsons customers purchased O’sonhn’s advertising products from O’soonnel’s website.
The complaint does not name O’Dellons wife, Mary O’Malley, but the couple has long been associated with the O’Connors.
Mary O’Mara O’Donnell, Mary’s mother, told the Daily News that her son was “just a really nice person” who “couldn’t be happier.”
“He never did anything wrong,” she said.
“It’s just sad.
He was a great father, he was a wonderful husband and he was always the good dad, the good husband, the nice guy.
He just wanted to help his family, and he did everything he could to do that.”
Mary O’sMalley added, “He was never the kind of guy that would sell something to you for free.”
Mary’s mother said she and her husband have known Joseph O’Neill for decades.
“He used to have a lot of respect for the law, the government and for the people,” Mary O’smara O’snell said.
“But he had a really bad heart.
He did things that he shouldn’t have done.
He didn’t have any respect for anybody.”
O’sons wife added, “[He] had a lot to do with it, a lot he could’ve done to help.”
O’dellons brother, Michael, told ABC News in a statement that he is “disturbed” by the lawsuit.
“Joseph was a loyal, good person, a good husband and a great dad,” Michael O’Doherty said.
He added, however, that he believes O’dell’s actions are not illegal because he is an executive in the advertising business.
“If he is in fact a lawyer, he should not have been in the position of CEO,” he said.
Mary’s brother also said his mother and sister believe their brother was doing the right thing by keeping his job.
“They are very saddened by what’s happened and by the way that the O’sONns have been portrayed,” he told ABC.
“My mother and my sister believe that their brother, Joseph, was doing everything in his power to help the family and to make sure that the family’s reputation and their business were maintained.”
Mary’a O’Sullivan, who owns a New York City salon and has known Joseph for decades, told NBC News she was not surprised by the O’dons’ lawsuit.
She said O’dells actions had been “common” and “common knowledge” at the salon.
“I had a great time, and I’m glad that he did what he did.
But I’m very upset about the way it was portrayed,” she told NBC.
“We have to work with him and I think we’ll be able to.”
O’mellons website has been taken down.
The company has a lengthy history of consumer complaints about deceptive online advertising and has received complaints about false claims about products, including overpriced lip balms, toothpaste, and nail polish.
In January, the company was fined $1.5 million by the California State Fair Board for