FindRentals.com Inc., a Buffalo-based Web site that sells advertising space to vacation home owners who want to rent out their properties, agreed to pay $9,000 and stop making inflated claims as the "number one vacation rental site" on Google.com.
FindRentals.com, which is owned by Anthony Vaarwerk, agreed to pay the restitution and change its advertising claims as part of a consent order and judgment issued by State Supreme Court Justice John Curran.
The settlement followed an investigation launched last summer by the state attorney general's office that found that FindRentals.com made false claims in its efforts to sell its services to consumers, State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday.
FindRentals.com agreed that it would no longer claim in its ads that it was the leading advertiser on Google or any other Web site. It also agreed to disclose to consumers that, if it advertised on Google, the timing and placement of the ad would vary.
The attorney general's office subpoenaed records from Google that showed FindRentals.com's ads did not appear during evenings or on most weekends. Assistant Attorneys General James Morrissey and Russell Ippolito in Buffalo handled the case.