Skip to main content

Displaying 1 - 20 of 127

Apex Processing Center

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped scammers who the agency says facilitated an operation to prey on students seeking debt relief. The agency charges that the defendants pretended to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education, used deceptive loan forgiveness promises, and falsely claimed they were offering relief under the “Biden Loan Forgiveness” plan to lure students and collect millions in illegal upfront fees. 

After the FTC filed a complaint seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court temporarily halted the operations and froze the assets of Apex Processing Center and its owners.

Under proposed orders settling the FTC’s charges, several defendants in the case—including Express Enrollment LLC, Intercontinental Solutions LLC, Ivan Esquivel, and Robert Kissinger —will be permanently banned from the debt relief industry and will be required to turn over their assets to the FTC. Litigation continues against Marco Manzi, the remaining defendant in the case.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
2323061
Case Status
Pending

EduTrek, LLC

The Federal Trade Commission has charged a telemarketing operation and its owners with making millions of illegal, unsolicited calls about educational programs to consumers who submitted their contact information to websites promising help with job searches, public benefits, and other unrelated programs. 

In early September 2023, a federal judge in Illinois ruled in the FTC’s favor, finding that the defendants made millions of illegal, unsolicited calls to consumers on the Do Not Call Registry. In granting summary judgment, the court found that the FTC was entitled to both injunctive relief and civil penalties and has scheduled a hearing to determine the amount of the civil penalty award and the scope of injunctive relief.

A federal district court entered final orders against a telemarketing company and its owners, who made millions of illegal, unsolicited calls to people that were registered on the Do Not Call Registry. The court ordered the defendants to pay $28.7 million in civil penalties and permanently banned the defendants from participating in telemarketing or assisting and facilitating others engaged in telemarketing to consumers.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
152 3126

Grand Canyon University/Grand Canyon Education

The FTC alleges that Grand Canyon Education (GCE), Inc., Grand Canyon University (GCU) and Brian Mueller—the CEO of GCE and president of GCU—deceived prospective doctoral students about the cost and course requirements of its doctoral programs and about being a nonprofit, while also engaging in deceptive and abusive telemarketing practices.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
Docket Number
2:23-cv-02711-JZB
2:23-02711-PHX-DWL
Case Status
Pending

SL Finance

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped a pair of student loan debt relief schemes that it says bilked students out of approximately $12 million by using deceptive claims about repayment programs and loan forgiveness that did not exist. The agency also says the companies falsely claimed to be or be affiliated with the Department of Education and told students that the illegal payments the companies collected would count towards their loans.

After the FTC filed complaints seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court temporarily halted the two schemes and froze their assets.

In early October 2023, SL finance and BCO Consulting were permanently banned from the debt relief industry and ordered to turn over their assets as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
2223138
Docket Number
X230025
Case Status
Closed

The University of Phoenix, Inc.

In December 2019, the FTC announced The University of Phoenix and its parent company agreed to pay a record $191 million to resolve allegations that they used deceptive advertisements falsely touting their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross. The settlement order requires UOP to pay $50 million in cash, as well as cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students harmed by the deceptive ads.

In March 2021, the FTC sent payments totaling nearly $50 million to more than 147,000 UOP students who may have been lured by allegedly deceptive advertisements.

In late September 2023, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will forgive nearly $37 million in federal loans for more than 1,200 students affected by the University of Phoenix’s deceptive practices, based in part on the FTC’s 2019 case.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
152 3231
Case Status
Pending

American Financial Benefits Center, et al.

In February 2018, the Federal Trade Commission charged student loan debt relief scammer Brandon Frere and his companies, including Ameritech Financial, with bilking millions of dollars from thousands of consumers by falsely promising that consumers’ monthly payments would go towards paying off their student loans. In October 2020, Frere and his companies settled FTC’s charges. In August 2023, the FTC and the Department of Justice sent more than $9 million in refunds to consumers who lost money.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
172 3027
X180020

Arete Financial Group

In November 2019, the Federal Trade Commission obtained a temporary restraining order halting an operation that bilked consumers out of millions of dollars by pretending to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education and falsely promising student loan debt relief. In September 2020, the FTC announced several of the operators settled FTC charges and agreed to pay at least $835,000. In January 2022, the FTC announced that the remaining defendants in the case are banned from providing student loan debt relief services in settlements with the FTC. The defendants are required to forfeit all of their frozen funds held by the receiver. In June 2023, the FTC sent more than $3.3 million to consumers harmed by this scam.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
192 3040
Case Status
Pending