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The embattled chief financial officer and corporate secretary of Pacific WebWorks has resigned.
The Salt Lake City company, the subject of a lawsuit by Google Inc. that alleged it was behind an Internet-based fraud, said R. Brett Bell had resigned his positions effective Sept. 30. No reason was given for his departure.
"On that date, our president, Christian R. Larsen, was appointed by our board of directors to serve as corporate secretary, and our board of directors intends to fill the position of chief financial officer at a later date," the company said in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bell is the son of Kenneth W. Bell, chairman and CEO of the company that sells software for conducting online businesses. Brett Bell's total compensation of pay, bonuses and options was $404,830 in 2009, according to the company's annual report.
Earlier this year, Pacific WebWorks settled a lawsuit in which Google alleged the Utah company was behind a scam in which people were lured through websites to give out their credit card numbers in work-at-home opportunities falsely trading on Google's name.
Once consumers signed up for "Google products" for a nominal fee, Pacific WebWorks and others used the same credit or debit cards to charge as much as $79.99 a month for other services, which often turned out to be worthless, according to the lawsuit.
Three new proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company during the past two months in state and federal courts, bringing to at least seven the number the suits that allege Pacific WebWorks cheated customers by trading on Google's name.