Three Operators of Financial Services Firm Charged and Arrested in Alleged $155 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

A three-count criminal indictment was unsealed yesterday in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Roberto Gustavo Cortes Ripalda, 54, of Madrid, Spain; Fernando Haberer Bergson, 48, of Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Ernesto Heraclito Weisson Pazmino, 53, of Miami, Florida, with conspiring to defraud investors and financial institutions as part of an … Read more

Doctor Arrested for Fake COVID-19 Immunization and Vaccination Card Scheme

A California-licensed homeopathic doctor was arrested recently for her alleged scheme to sell homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets and to falsify COVID-19 vaccination cards by making it appear that customers had received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Moderna vaccine. Juli A. Mazi, 41, of Napa, is charged with one count of wire fraud and … Read more

LendingClub Agrees to Pay $18 Million to Settle FTC Charges

Agency charged the company with deceiving loan applicants about hidden fees Online lender LendingClub Corporation agreed to pay $18 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company deceived consumers about hidden fees that it charged and about whether their loan applications were approved. In addition, the settlement bars LendingClub from making misrepresentations to … Read more

FTC Sends Refunds to People who Lost Money to Student Loan, Mortgage Debt Relief Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending refunds totaling more than $223,000 to people who lost money to a student loan and mortgage debt relief operation. The FTC alleged that A1 DocPrep Inc., Streamlined Marketing, and their owner, Horman Ardalan falsely claimed to be from the Department of Education, and promised to reduce borrowers’ monthly payments … Read more

FTC Sends Checks to People Who Lost Money to SLAC Student Loan Debt Relief Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending checks totaling more than $316,000 to 10,689 people who lost money to a student loan debt relief scheme. In a complaint first announced in March 2020, the FTC alleged SLAC (which also used the name Aspyre), Navloan, and Student Loan Assistance Center, and their owner, Adam Owens, falsely told … Read more

FTC Files Amended Complaint Seeking Civil Penalties Against Small Business Financing Providers

In a newly filed amended complaint, the Federal Trade Commission alleges that merchant cash advance provider RCG Advances and other defendants made multiple unauthorized withdrawals from small businesses’ banks, sometimes taking thousands of dollars more than the agreed repayment amount. The amended complaint also alleges that RCG, formerly known as Richmond Capital Group, LLC and … Read more

FTC Sends Nearly $30 Million in Refunds to People Tricked into Enrolling by School Operator’s Lead Generators

Career Education Corporation refund distribution, averaging more than $3,700 per person, is the largest per person average in agency’s history The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $30 million in refunds to people tricked by agents working on behalf of Career Education Corporation (currently operating as Perdoceo Education Corporation), the operator of several post-secondary schools. … Read more

FTC Data Shows Huge Spike in Cryptocurrency Investment Scams

Since October 2020, consumers have reported losing more than $80 million to cryptocurrency investment scams, an increase of more than ten-fold year-over-year, according to a new data analysis from the Federal Trade Commission. In a new consumer protection data spotlight, the FTC breaks down the contents of nearly 7,000 reports received from consumers about these … Read more

Operators of Student Loan Debt Relief Scheme Banned From Providing Debt Relief Services as Part of Settlement with FTC

The operators of a student loan debt relief scheme are banned from providing debt relief services and have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they collected illegal upfront fees and falsely promised to lower or even eliminate consumers’ loan payments or balances. In its 2019 complaint the FTC alleged that Student Advocates Team … Read more

FTC Sending More than $147,000 in Refunds to People Affected by Student Loan Debt Relief Scam

The Federal Trade Commission is sending more than $147,000 in full refunds to people affected by a student loan debt relief scam. According to an amended FTC complaint filed in 2019, corporate defendants Impetus Enterprise, Inc., Fig Tree & Co., LLC, Capital Sun Investments, and individual defendants Tuan Duong, Brenda Avitia-Pena, Brian Colombana, and Jimmy … Read more

FTC Sues Frontier Communications for Misrepresenting Internet Speeds

Company failed to deliver DSL Internet speeds for which consumers paid and were promised The Federal Trade Commission, along with law enforcement agencies from six states, sued Internet service provider Frontier Communications, alleging that the company did not provide many consumers with Internet service at the speeds it promised them, and charged many of them … Read more

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Neuters FTC in Recovering Money From Scammers

Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued the following statement regarding recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of AMG Capital Management LLC v. FTC: “In AMG Capital, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of scam artists and dishonest corporations, leaving average Americans to pay for illegal behavior,” Acting Chairwoman … Read more

FTC Sends Nearly $50 Million in Refunds to University of Phoenix Students

More than 147,000 refunds sent to students affected by the school’s deceptive ads The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling nearly $50 million to more than 147,000 University of Phoenix (UOP) students who may have been lured by allegedly deceptive advertisements. The refunds stem from a lawsuit the FTC filed against UOP alleging that … Read more

Operators of Bogus Income Scam Targeting Latinas Face FTC Settlement

The owners of a scam that targeted Latina consumers with promises of wealth and financial security are permanently prohibited from selling money-making opportunities under the terms of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.  In a complaint filed as part of the FTC’s Operation Income Illusion sweep, the agency alleged that Moda Latina BZ Inc., Esther … Read more