FTC Stops Operators of Fake Credit Repair Scheme

In its complaint, the FTC charges that if a consumer complained about the lack of results or attempted to exercise their statutory rights to dispute the defendants’ illegal advance fees, the defendants would threaten them with legal action for violating purported anti-disparagement and anti-chargeback contract clauses. The defendants offered consumers the option of financing these substantial fees, but failed to make critical required disclosures. When the defendants processed fees, they routinely engaged in electronic fund transfers from consumers’ bank accounts without obtaining proper authorization. The defendants often used illegal remotely created checks to pay for the credit repair services they offered through telemarketing, according the FTC’s complaint.

Under the terms of the temporary restraining order granted by the court[2], the company has temporarily ceased operations and the defendants’ assets are frozen.

The corporate defendants are: Grand Teton Professionals, LLC; 99th Floor, LLC; Mait Management Inc.; Demand Dynamics LLC; Atomium Corps Inc. (a Wyoming company); Atomium Corps Inc. (a Colorado company); Startup Masters NJ Inc. (a Wyoming company); Startup Masters NJ Inc. (a New Jersey company); First Incorporation Services, Inc. (a Wyoming company); First Incorporation Services, Inc. (a Florida company); and individual defendants Douglas Filter and Marcio G. Andrade.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition[3] and protect and educate consumers[4]. You can learn more about consumer topics[5] and file a consumer complaint online[6] or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook[7], follow us on Twitter[8], read our blogs[9], and subscribe to press releases[10] for the latest FTC news and resources.

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