U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is returning a $5,400 donation from a Florida businessman accused of bilking customers.
The Federal Trade Commission has accused Scott J. Cooper and his company, World Patent Marketing, of defrauding people in a marketing scam, Politico has reported. Cooper donated to a committee that supported Mast’s campaign last year, the news site reported.
Mast had been listed as member of World Patent Marketing’s advisory board, and the Miami-based company has used publicly available footage of him in a promotional video. The company issued a news release touting Mast’s membership on its advisory board.
Mast spokesman Brad Stewart said the congressman “never served on the board and has no knowledge of the inner workings of this business.”
Stewart also said Mast never conducted any business on behalf of the company, did not attend any meetings of the company and did not receive any compensation from the company.
Mast did not know about the news release when it was sent out, Stewart said, adding that “promotional materials using the congressman’s image were taken from media that was publicly available on the internet.”