Court Grants National Scrip Center Request to Restrain Fresno Firm from Communicating Falsehoods

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False attack by Scrip Advantage told to stop by the courts.

The National Scrip Center, Inc. (NSC), a nonprofit company headquartered in Santa Rosa, reported that the Fresno Superior Court has issued a restraining order against Fresno-based Scrip Advantage, Inc. The order forbids them to continue to say and promote false statements about NSC.

The ruling resulted from a lawsuit NSC filed against Scrip Advantage, three of its managers and others who NSC says have been spreading falsehoods. The lawsuit states that Scrip Advantage, Inc., Robert Coyle, Jr., John Coyle, Jon E. Boscariol and others at Scrip Advantage

engaged in a widespread pattern of deliberately spreading false rumors about the financial stability of NSC in a malicious attempt to steal NSC customers.

On June 17, 2003, the Honorable Mark W. Snauffer forbid the Coyles, Boscariol and others at the Fresco scrip company from communicating false statements about NSC to any customer. “Since early this spring we’ve had a significant percentage of our customers ask about statements told to them by Scrip Advantage,” reports David C. Carrithers, CEO & President, NSC. “Those statements were absolutely false.”

“NSC is sound financially and we are building an organization that will support even more charities and raise even more funds, becoming a unique nonprofit organization in the United States,” Carrithers says. “We are able to generate money for nonprofits through successful business marketing growth and product management. While we have experienced growing pains, statements made by Scrip Advantage are utterly false and misleading.”

He adds that NSC expects to continue to expand its good works for a long, long time. “In fact, during our current fiscal year we have launched numerous new products, implemented multiple customer service features and joined several leading companies in partnerships that will

bring huge benefits to our current and prospective customer charities.” Over its 15-year history NSC has given $184 million net back to the charities it serves, he points out. The company has also shown unprecedented growth in the number of charities it serves. In the recent 12 months, NSC has increased the number of charities it supports. The nonprofit scrip company experienced 20 percent growth during the 2002 holiday season and is on track toward $365 million in sales for this fiscal year. Alongside the success it has achieved, NSC simultaneously has developed numerous new products and services for the more than 9,000 schools, clubs, charities, and other nonprofit customers it serves.

NSC has a permanent staff of more than 120 employees, and in 2000 moved into a new 30,000 square-foot building, which it owns. The Santa Rosa-based nonprofit company works with more than 300 merchant brands in America, many that extend credit specific to their offering. The company has also recently installed a new phone system, a new financial system, and is developing a new Network Operations Center – with inputs from companies like Microsoft and eOn Communications. Since July 2002, NSC has launched six new fundraising products and established Share the Dream Foundation™, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to building scholarship opportunities.

National Scrip Center points out that in an earlier court action between these same parties, Scrip Advantage and the Coyles had set up an imposter Web site which falsely purported to be the official NSC Web site. On May 20, 1998, Judge Brad Hill of the Fresno Court ordered

that defendant Bob Coyle and Scrip Advantage were forbidden from referring to NSC “in a manner which is misleading or deceptive or which is likely to mislead consumers, whether or not these statements are made in the form of a question or an affirmative statement, and whether or

not made over the Internet or through some other form of communication....”

“It’s a shame that the Coyles are apparently just unable to compete fairly in the marketplace,” Carrithers added. “The real victims in all this are the many nonprofit volunteers and workers who have been confused and understandably upset by these shabby tactics. We were very reluctant to involve them, and the court system, in this affair but the Coyles gave us no choice. We are pleased that this court ruling will restrain behavior that is unfair and unethical.”

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About NSC:

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., National Scrip Center (NSC) is a nonprofit organization that helps schools, service clubs, charities and other nonprofits raise necessary funds by providing innovative fundraising products, programs and services. During its 15-year history, NSC has processed more than $3 billion in gift card and gift certificate sales. It has helped more than 15,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide raise more than $183 million net in critical funding. NSC is unique in offering a complete line of gift certificate and gift card products, a comprehensive selection of merchants and multiple communication channels to customers. For more information, visit http://www.nationalscripcenter.org or call 1-800-538-1222.

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Tony Minnichsoffer
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