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First American Payment Systems, LP

The Federal Trade Commission took action against payment processing company First American Payment Systems and two of its sales affiliates for targeting small- and medium-sized businesses. The FTC alleges that the defendants made false claims about fees and cost savings to lure merchants, many of whom had limited English proficiency. Once merchants were enrolled, the defendants withdrew funds from their accounts without their consent, and made it difficult and expensive for them to cancel the service. Under a proposed federal court order, the defendants will be required to return $4.9 million to harmed businesses, stop their deception, and make it easier for merchants to cancel their services. 

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
1923166
Case Status
Pending

Harris Jewelry

The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 18 states sued national jewelry retailer Harris Jewelry to stop the company from cheating military families with illegal financing and sales practices. According to the complaint, the jewelry company deceptively claimed that financing jewelry purchases through Harris would raise servicemembers’ credit scores, misrepresented that its protection plans were not optional or were required, and added the plans to purchases without consumers’ consent. The complaint also includes a charge that the jewelry company violated the Military Lending Act, the FTC’s first action under this Act.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
1723162
Case Status
Pending

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.

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

Career Education Corporation

Career Education Corporation (CEC) and its subsidiaries, American InterContinental University, Inc., AIU Online, LLC, Marlin Acquisition Corporation, Colorado Technical University, Inc., and Colorado Tech., Inc. (collectively, CEC), has been ordered to pay $30 million to the FTC to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the operator used sales leads from lead generators that falsely told consumers they were affiliated with the U.S. military, and that used other unlawful tactics to generate leads. CEC’s lead generators also induced consumers to submit their information under the guise of providing job or benefits assistance. The FTC also charged that CEC’s lead generators falsely told consumers that their information would not be shared, and that both CEC and its lead generators illegally called consumers registered on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.

The Federal Trade Commission is sending nearly $30 million in refunds to people tricked by agents working on behalf of Career Education Corporation (currently operating as Perdoceo Education Corporation), the operator of several post-secondary schools.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
152 3264