The POLITICO recently reported that combat veteran and freshman Rep. Brian Mast (R) was linked to World Patent Marketing, an organization that according to the Federal Trade Commission, has allegedly defrauded thousands of clients of millions of dollars.The group’s owner, Scott J. Cooper, is also being named as being part of the fraud.
World Patent Marketing named Mast to its advisory board back in February 2016 before its owner Cooper donated over $5000 to Mast’s campaign election committee.
In an interview, Mast insisted he had only met Cooper face-to-face on two occasions — including a party last month celebrating the freshman lawmaker’s victory — and did not know where Cooper obtained footage of him used in a promotional video for the firm. Mast also said Cooper did not have his permission to use his image.Mast said he never received compensation from the company and did not know about the press release announcing his appointment to the advisory board before it was published.
“[Cooper] was somebody who was introduced to me,” Mast said. “I was aware that I became a member of a board through a press release someone else sent to me. I didn’t even know.”
Mast went further in denying any close relationship with Cooper, dismissing the embattled businessman as an being just an “acquaintance” like “thousands of other people” who supported his campaign.
“He does know me, just like thousands of other people who supported me,” Mast added when asked why Cooper attended his swearing-in party. “This is stuff taken off social media, and Facebook. I never authorized it.”
Mast said Cooper “was one of those people who bounces from idea to idea to idea. I don’t know if he thought he was doing something good for himself, or if he thought he was doing something good for me. I couldn’t say. But there was never a discussion of ‘Would you consider doing this?’ or ‘I’d like for you to do this’ or anything else.”-(source)But how much did Mast really know, and how involved was he with World Patent Marketing and Cooper?
According to a source very close to the Mast for Congress campaign, Mast did bounce the idea about being named to the World Patent Marketing board with staff in January 2016, including fundraiser Zach Burr, who handled all the fundraising for the campaign, the leadership PAC, and the Valor Super PAC.
Jose Mallea, who is currently running for a state House seat in Miami, ran the Valor Super PAC towards the end of the Republican primary race in 2016, and then went on to consult Mast in the remaining two months of the general election.
According to another campaign source, Burr, whose untimely departure as Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign and Reclaim America PAC fundraiser over questionable fundraising practices raised questions within certain political circles, is alleged to have recently said that the FTC formally requested from Mast that he turn over all his personal emails for their review.
He apparently did.In contacting the FTC about whether they were formally investigating Mast, a spokesman for the commission stated it was policy not to “confirm nor deny” any information about a past or possible ongoing investigation.