Trial starts in Iowa lawsuit against Conn. company - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trial starts in Iowa lawsuit against Conn. company

DES MOINES (AP)--Testimony is under way in a consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Iowa against a Connecticut company over discount buying programs.

The state sued Vertrue Inc. in 2006, claiming the Stamford, Conn.-based company charged customers fees without their knowledge.

The trial began Monday in Polk County District Court in Des Moines.

The lawsuit alleges Vertrue Inc. sold discount buyer-club memberships to nearly 500,000 Iowans for such things as home improvement items, entertainment, fashion and fitness products.

Vertrue Inc., also known as MemberWorks or MWI, allegedly charged customers yearly or monthly fees.

Lawyers called witnesses on Monday but did not present opening statements. A judge, rather than a jury, is hearing the case.

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