The head of a sham debt relief operation agreed to a judgment of more than $7.9 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that he deceived consumers and charged them thousands of dollars while providing nothing in return.
In a complaint filed in May 2014, the FTC alleged that the DebtPro 123 LLC defendants falsely told consumers their programs would settle all of their debts and repair their credit. Then they told them to stop paying and communicating with creditors, which led to more debt and worse credit because of accrued interest, late charges, creditor lawsuits, garnished wages, and sometimes bankruptcy.
Under proposed stipulated court orders, the scheme’s ringleader, Bryan Taylor, and co-defendants Ryan Foland, Stacey Frion, and Kara Wilbur Taylor, are banned from selling debt relief products or services. They are also prohibited from making unsubstantiated claims for any product or service, and making material misrepresentations, either directly or through others, about any product or service. In addition, they are barred from: telemarketing without keeping certain records and making certain disclosures; profiting from customers’ personal information; and failing to properly dispose of customer information.
In the proposed stipulated order against Bryan Taylor, which imposes a judgment representing the total amount of consumer harm – more than $7.9 million – Taylor admits to the allegations made against him in the FTC’s complaint. The proposed orders against Foland, Frion , and Kara Taylor impose the same judgment, which will be suspended upon the surrender of certain assets by Foland. The full judgments will become due immediately if Foland, Frion or Kara Taylor are found to have misrepresented their financial condition. The FTC is seeking default judgments against the six corporate defendants: DebtPro 123 LLC, Allstar Processing Corp., Allstar Debt Relief LLC, Allstar Debt Relief LLC, Redwave Management Group Inc., and BET Companies Inc.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the proposed stipulated final orders was 4-0. The orders are pending before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
To learn more, read Coping with Debt.
NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection