More than 5,000 consumers to get refunds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- More than 5,000 consumers in and outside of Tennessee will be eligible for refunds following an agreement involving several East Tennessee telemarketing firms and their operators.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer signed final agreements this week that provide an estimated $1 million to consumers harmed by alleged deceptive business practices.

Attorney General Bob Cooper sued earlier this year on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Consumer Affairs Division.

The state's investigation focused on operations that included using coercive tactics to sell long-term magazine subscriptions.

The agreement indicates that over a six-year period the defendants took in roughly $20 million from consumers across the country.

Named in the lawsuit are Mountain Area Communications LLC, American Publisher's Service LLC, Shawna R. McDonald, Eric N. McDonald, Zachary F. Haverland, Christopher M. McDonald and G.H. McDonald.