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FTC Case Leads to Permanent Ban Against Merchant Cash Advance Owner for Deceiving Small Businesses, Seizing Personal and Business Assets
The FTC filed a complaint against RCG Advances, LLC—formerly known as Richmond Capital Group, LLC, and also doing business as Viceroy Capital Funding and Ram Capital Funding—and a related entity and individuals. The complaint alleges that, since at least 2015, the defendants have deceived small businesses and other organizations by misrepresenting the terms of merchant cash advances they provided, and then used unfair collection practices, including threatening physical violence, to compel consumers to pay. The FTC also alleges that defendants have made unauthorized withdrawals from consumers’ accounts.
RCG Advances, LLC and Robert Giardina are permanently banned from the merchant cash advance industry for deceiving and threatening small businesses and their owners. In addition, the court ordered RCG Advances and Giardina to make an upfront payment of $1.5 million and subsequent payment of more than $1.2 million to refund consumers.
Jonathan Braun, who controlled small-business funding company RCG Advances, will face a permanent ban from the merchant cash advance and debt collection industries. A federal court issued summary judgment in favor of the FTC in the case along with a permanent injunction against Braun.
As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of an alleged credit card debt relief scheme based in Tennessee have agreed to court orders that would permanently ban them from telemarketing and selling debt relief products or services.
Sean Austin, John Steven Huffman, John Preston Thompson, and their affiliated companies were charged by the FTC in November 2022 with taking tens of millions of dollars from people by falsely promising to eliminate or substantially reduce their credit card debt. At the time, a federal court agreed to the FTC’s request to temporarily freeze the defendants’ assets and appoint a receiver over the businesses while the case took place.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, entered the final orders on April 28, 2023.
FTC, Law Enforcers Nationwide Announce Enforcement Sweep to Stem the Tide of Illegal Telemarketing Calls to U.S. Consumers
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General's Office, a federal court temporarily halted an alleged sham credit card interest rate reduction operation that often targeted financially distressed consumers and older adults in July 2020. In February 2022, the FTC announced that the operators are permanently banned from the debt relief industry as part of court orders resolving charges by the FTC and Florida AG’s Office.
FTC Sends More than $3.3 Million to Consumers Harmed by Passport Auto’s Illegal Junk Fees and Discriminatory Practices
FTC Finalizes Order Requiring Credit Karma to Pay $3 Million and Halt Deceptive ‘Pre-Approved’ Claims
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has temporarily halted a bogus credit repair scheme known as The Credit Game for promoting a series of lies and deceptions. The FTC alleged the scheme’s operators lied to credit reporting agencies regarding information on consumers’ credit reports and pitched consumers a supposed business opportunity that was essentially starting their own bogus credit repair scheme.
In a complaint filed against The Credit Game and its owners, Michael and Valerie Rando, the FTC alleged that the company has illegally charged consumers hundreds and even thousands of dollars for credit repair services of little to no value and told consumers to “invest” their COVID-19 governmental benefits on their unlawful services. In some cases, the company’s “services” included filing false identity theft reports with the FTC and encouraging consumers to take actions that were unlawful. The FTC asked the court to immediately halt the company’s illegal operations, appoint a receiver, and freeze the defendants’ assets. The court issued a temporary restraining order doing so on May 3, 2022.
As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of “The Credit Game,” a credit repair scheme that cost consumers millions of dollars, face a lifetime ban from the credit repair industry in proposed court orders filed today.
Michael and Valerie Rando and their companies, first sued by the FTC in May 2022, would also be required to turn over a wide array of property that would be liquidated and used to provide refunds to consumers harmed by the scam.
FTC, California Act to Stop Ygrene Energy Fund from Deceiving Consumers About PACE Financing, Placing Liens on Homes Without Consumers’ Consent
FTC, CFPB Submit Amicus Brief Defending Consumers’ Ability to Dispute Inaccurate Items on Credit Reports
FTC Takes Action to Stop Credit Karma From Tricking Consumers With Allegedly False “Pre-Approved” Credit Offers
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $9.7 Million To Consumers Harmed by LendingClub’s Deceptive Hidden Fees
FTC and 18 States Sue to Stop Harris Jewelry from Cheating Military Families with Illegal Financing and Sales Tactics
The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 18 states sued national jewelry retailer Harris Jewelry to stop the company from cheating military families with illegal financing and sales practices. According to the complaint, the jewelry company deceptively claimed that financing jewelry purchases through Harris would raise servicemembers’ credit scores, misrepresented that its protection plans were not optional or were required, and added the plans to purchases without consumers’ consent. The complaint also includes a charge that the jewelry company violated the Military Lending Act, the FTC’s first action under this Act.
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $9.7 Million To Small Businesses Harmed by Yellowstone Capital’s Merchant Cash Advance Operation
Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $970,000 To Consumers Harmed by Deceptive Payday Lending Operation
FTC Action Results in Ban for Richmond Capital and Owner From Merchant Cash Advance and Debt Collection Industries and Return of More Than $2.7M to Consumers
FTC Shuts Down Credit Repair Pyramid Scheme Financial Education Services, Which Bilked More Than $213 Million from Consumers
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