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Iowa officers accuse couple of working business scams

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa attorney general’s office wants to close down a telemarketing company that authorities say has been scamming small businesses in Iowa, Nebraska and other states.

Scott County residents Paul and Misty Barnes have been operating PM Specialties and Milestone Consulting, the attorney general’s office said in its Scott County court filing, and have been using lies and deception to make unauthorized charges to consumers’ credit cards or bank accounts and to force consumers to pay for goods and services they would never receive.

The Barneses told The Des Moines Register they have not defrauded anyone. They said they operate a consulting firm for artist and business management.

The state wants court injunctions to shut down the businesses and have asked a judge to order restitution and impose civil penalties.

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