The Miami-based company tied to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who took over the role after President Donald Trump forced out Jeff Sessions, is under criminal investigation by the FBI, according to The Wall Street Journal.
World Patent Marketing was shut down in May of this year by the Federal Trade Commission.
Whitaker served on the company’s advisory board, appearing in promotional materials and, at one point, sending an email that appeared to threaten a disgruntled client.
The FTC, a civil regulatory body, called the company a “scam” in a press release, accusing it of persuading inventors to buy expensive marketing, patenting, and distribution packages and then blowing them off when they demanded fulfillment of their orders.
The WSJ reports that the FBI’s Miami field office is overseeing the criminal investigation along with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, citing a letter sent by an FBI victim specialist. The report also states that the investigation began as early as June 2017.