Debt Articles Scam Articles

American Tax Relief Scammers Agree to Pay Millions to Settle With FTC Over False Promises

Written by Steve Rhode

Under an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the defendants in a scheme that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $100 million by falsely claiming they could reduce their tax debts must surrender more than $15 million in cash and assets to settle charges that they violated federal law. Under the settlement order, American Tax Relief LLC and its leader, Alexander Seung Hahn, are banned from telemarketing, and they and Hahn’s wife, Joo Hyun Park, are permanently prohibited from selling debt relief services. As part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers in financial distress, this is the agency’s first action against a tax relief company.

The FTC filed charges against American Tax Relief, Hahn, and Park in September 2010. A court subsequently halted the allegedly illegal practices, froze the defendants’ assets, and appointed a receiver to manage the company pending resolution of the case.

In August 2012, the court entered partial summary judgment in favor of the FTC, finding that the defendants falsely claimed they already had significantly reduced the tax debts of thousands of people and falsely told individual consumers they qualified for tax relief programs that would significantly reduce their tax debts. The court found Hahn personally liable for the challenged practices.

The settlement order imposes a $103.3 million judgment against ATR, Hahn, and Joo HyunPark. It also imposes judgments of $18 million and $595,000, respectively, against relief defendants Young Soon Park and Il Kon Park, Joo Park’s parents, who were not charged with participating in the scheme but were found by the court to have received significant sums. The judgments will be suspended oncethe defendants and relief defendants have surrendered assets that total more than $15 million, including cash, a home in Beverly Hills and a condo in Los Angeles, jewelry and gold items, and a 2005 Ferrari. The full judgments will become due immediately if the defendants or relief defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

READ  At FTC's Request, Court Halts Tax Relief Scam That Collected More Than $60 Million

The order also prohibits ATR, Hahn, and Park from misrepresenting material facts about any products or services, collecting payments from the scheme’s customers, selling or otherwise benefitting from customers’ personal information, and failing to properly dispose of customer information. – Source

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.





About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top