The fraudulent ad agency claimed the apps circled above are all clients of theirs. We've sent out emails request more information from the developers in question to substantiate the claims.
Apple sent out a reminder to developers today that Cupertino will not tolerate the manipulation of application rankings in the App Store.
"When you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership." —Apple
Obviously it seemed to good to be true, and it for the most part it was. Digging deeper the developer asked how the ad agency was able to accomplish such amazing results. The answer? Bots. Lots of them. The guy running the ad agency hired someone to build a bot farm that automatically downloads his clients' applications driving up their rankings. He then conceded that Apple already knew about the scam and banned a developer called Dream Cortex for botting. The fraudster then mentioned the $5,000 price was much lower than normal because he was trying to get as many clients as he could before Apple shut down their operation.
Hopefully Apple's reminder and the threat of being banned will help diminish the amount of fraudulent rankings in the App Store. It would be interesting to find out if the ad agency did in fact reveal to all of exactly how they achieved their results or if they tried to play off their services as legit.