Additional Defendants in Student Debt Relief Schemes Agree to Settle FTC Charges

One defendant ordered to pay more than $11 million as part of settlement

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Additional defendants involved with student loan debt relief schemes have been permanently banned from selling debt relief services pursuant to settlements with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC alleged that they tricked consumers into paying illegal upfront fees in hopes of reducing or eliminating their student loan debt.

One of the defendants, Brenda Avitia-Pena, has been ordered to pay $11 million as part of her settlement with the Commission.

Both Avitia-Pena, president of Impetus Enterprise, Inc., and Jimmy Calderon, manager of Capital Sun Investments, LLC, conducted student loan debt relief operations associated with recidivist Tuan Duong, who settled with the Commission earlier this year. The FTC alleged the defendants bilked millions of dollars from student loan borrowers by deceptively promoting debt relief services and charging illegal advance fees.

The $11 million settlement to be paid by Avitia-Pena represents gross revenues of Impetus Enterprise Inc.’s student loan debt relief operation. The order against Calderon and Capital Sun Investments contains a suspended judgment for $1.3 million, the gross revenues of Capital Sun Investments, LLC’s operations.

The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order against Avitia-Pena was 5-0. The FTC filed the proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on July 30, 2019.

The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order against Calderon and Capital Sun Investments LLC was 5-0. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered that order on June 18, 2019.

NOTE: Stipulated final orders or injunctions have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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Brian M. Welke
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2897