About the Region
The Western Region Los Angeles serves the residents of Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.
Maricela Segura, Director
Faye Chen Barnouw, Assistant Director
The Western Region Los Angeles stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by conducting investigations, bringing law enforcement actions, building state and local partnerships, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.
Notable Cases and Outreach
The Western Region Los Angeles (WRLA) was responsible for the district court litigation in FTC v. Figgie Int'l, which helped solidify the principle that FTC defendants may be liable for total consumer injury, even when that amount exceeds the defendants’ revenues. As part of Operation Short Change – a law enforcement crackdown on scammers taking advantage of the economic downturn – the WRLA obtained a record-setting judgment of $478 million against defendants in John Beck Amazing Profits, who were alleged to have offered get-rich-quick systems and coaching that took thousands of dollars from consumers who could least afford it.
The Western Region Los Angeles (WRLA) has obtained strong injunctive and monetary relief in a wide range of cases that impact consumers’ daily lives. For example, WRLA has brought cases related to credit repair, mobile cramming, tech support, debt negotiation, debt collection, credit repair, foreclosure relief, business opportunities, and education. In 2009, during the financial crisis, WRLA brought cases against foreclosure rescue operations, including National Foreclosure Relief and Dinamica Financiera, halting harm inflicted on consumers desperate to save their homes. In 2011, the WRLA initiated litigation against Rincon Management Services for allegedly deceiving and abusing Spanish- and English-speaking consumers by making bogus threats that consumers had been sued or could be arrested over debts they often did not owe, resulting in the surrender of $3.3 million in assets and a permanent ban from debt collection. The following year, WRLA filed suit against American Business Builders for allegedly falsely representing income that could be made with their business opportunities, resulting in bans on the future selling of business or work-at-home opportunities. In 2016, WRLA obtained a $100 million settlement against DeVry University to redress tens of thousands of students the FTC alleged were deceived about their likelihood of finding jobs in their field of study and the income level they could achieve upon graduation.
The Western Region Los Angeles (WRLA) brought the FTC’s first Do Not Call case in 2004 against National Consumer Council, a debt-relief company the Commission alleged had called consumers who had placed their phone numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry, falsely claiming to be a non-profit organization exempt from the Do Not Call requirements of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The court ordered $6 million in consumer redress, and the WRLA’s pioneering work in this case eventually led the FTC to amend the Telemarketing Sales Rule to prohibit upfront charges for debt relief services.
The Western Region Los Angeles (WRLA) engages in numerous outreach efforts to consumers throughout Southern California, including hosting a Military Common Ground Conference in 2017, arranging consumer education efforts at military bases throughout Southern California, and sponsoring both Immigration Fraud and Ethnic Media conferences in Los Angeles in 2015. WRLA also works closely with the vibrant community of state and local consumer protection law enforcement partners in Southern California.
Have a consumer complaint? You can report it:
|By phone (toll free):
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday through Friday
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20580