The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refund checks totaling more than $16 million to 18,571 consumers who paid money to American Tax Relief, which bilked financially distressed consumers by falsely claiming it could reduce their tax debts. Under a settlement, the defendants turned over millions of dollars in assets the court had frozen, including bank accounts, jewelry, and a Ferrari. The relief defendants, who were the parents of one of the defendants, also turned over bank accounts, jewelry, a Beverly Hills residence, and a Los Angeles condominium.
Affected consumers will receive, on average, 16 percent of the amount they lost. Those who receive checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or to provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-877-430-3699, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for more general information.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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