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Log In / Register | Jun 25, 2018

IFA Boots Consultant Christopher Conner Out

Chris Conner Image from YouTube video

WASHINGTON D.C. – The International Franchise Association has now terminated the membership of franchise consultant Christopher J. Conner and his firm Franchise Marketing Systems, following the California state regulator's "unprecedented enforcement action" against both entities last week. The Commissioner banned Conner and his firm from engaging in the business of franchising in California for the next five years.

For the past several years the IFA "premium supplier" has been fighting against disputes and lawsuits brought by clients and one client franchisee in Ohio, alleging the franchise disclosure documents Conner produced contained fraudulent statements and omissions of critical information that buyers relied on in purchasing franchises. Most resulted in confidential settlements. The consultant was also accused of offering and selling franchises without legally registering the franchise, a violation of state law.

Conner is also waiting for a final action from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Securities Division, alleging similar charges. Maryland had filed four counts against Conner and client RedRhino, citing violations of disclosure provisions, misrepresentation in connection with the offer and sale of franchises, and giving false earnings claims. On November 4, 2015 the Securities regulator issued an order to show cause, giving Conner 15 days to respond.

Over the years Conner and his team have been very visible in the franchise community, selling their services to unsuspecting buyers. In promotional material for his company, Conner flaunted, "We exhibit at over 20 franchise shows per year and the MFV/IFA shows continue to be the best performing across the U.S. for franchise and business opportunity marketing."

When asked how long Conner would be banned from IFA's membership, spokesperson Alisa Harrison said, "Because of the recent court action, they [Conner and Franchise Marketing Systems] are no longer members. Any future request for membership will be addressed at that time."


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About Janet Sparks

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Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at jsparks@bluemaumau.org or at 303-799-7398.