A Polk County judge has shut down several Quad Cities-based advertising companies that are accused of defrauding small businesses across the country, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced. District Judge Robert Hansen granted a temporary injunction sought by Miller against owner Alphonso Barnum of Davenport, several of his associates, and 10 companies. The injunction bars the defendants from conducting any business activity involving telemarketing and the sale of advertising and promotional items. Miller's lawsuit alleges the defendants violated the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act by using deception, confusion and high-pressure tactics purportedly to sell advertisements for direct-mail pieces and promotional items, such as high school sports posters and city information guides. Hansen cited evidence that defendants made unauthorized charges against the victims’ accounts, including creating checks for tens of thousands of dollars that were run through victims' bank accounts.