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On March 9, an administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission mailed 78,552 refund checks to consumers defrauded by a credit counseling/debt management scam run by Andris Pukke and his companies, AmeriDebt, Inc. and DebtWorks, Inc. The FTC alleged that the defendants deceived consumers about the fees for debt management plans and misrepresented that AmeriDebt was a non-profit, in addition to making false promises to teach consumers how to handle their credit and finances.

The FTC previously returned almost $13 million to consumers in this scam. The distribution of more than $2.1 million announced today is the result of additional funds collected from the defendants, and the amount of each check will vary based upon the amount of each consumer’s loss.

Consumers who receive the checks should cash them by May 9, 2011. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks may be cashed. Consumer victims who have not previously filed a complaint with the FTC may still do so. AmeriDebt consumers with questions should call the redress administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC , at 888-309-3816 or visit

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 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. “Like” the FTC on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter.

(AmeriDebt Redress)

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