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Case Status
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. American Financial Support Services Inc.; Arete Financial Group, a corporation, also doing business as Arete Financial Freedom; Arete Financial Group LLC; CBC Conglomerate LLC, also doing business as; Diamond Choice Inc., also doing business as Interest Rate Solutions; J&L Enterprise LLC, also doing business as Premier Solutions Servicing; La Casa Bonita Investments, Inc., formerly known as La Casa Bonita Investments LLC, also doing business as Education Loan Network, also doing business as Edunet; US Financial Freedom Center, Inc., a corporation; Carey G. Howe; Anna C. Howe; Shunmin “Mike” Hsu; Ruddy Palacios also known as Ruddy Barahona; Oliver Pomazi; and Jay Singh, Defendants, and MJ Wealth Solutions, LLC, Relief Defendant.
FTC Matter/File Number
192 3040
Civil Action Number
Federal Court
Central District of California

Case Summary

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.

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