On December 30, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada had ruled in its favor in a case against the operators of a mortgage scheme that deceived homeowners, which was filed in January 2018. Per the findings of the final order, the defendants falsely promised to make consumers’ mortgages more affordable, and unlawfully told consumers not to pay their mortgages or to communicate with their lenders.
The court, in granting the FTC’s motion for summary judgment, found that the defendants’ practices violated the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and Regulation O, 12 C.F.R. § 1015. The final order bans defendants from the debt relief business and from misleading consumers about the terms of other financial services they may offer, and imposes an $18.5 million judgment against the defendants. The order also requires that the contents of numerous bank accounts be turned over to the FTC, along with the proceeds from selling assets belonging to the defendants, including a Park City, Utah ski chalet, an office building, a Mercedes Benz S550, and a Porsche Carrera.