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WASHINGTON DC – The Federal Trade Commission is sending over $ 147,000 in full repayment to those affected by a student debt relief scam.

According to an amended FTC complaint filed in 2019, the defendant companies Impetus Enterprise, Inc., Fig Tree & Co., LLC, Capital Sun Investments, and the individual defendants Tuan Duong, Brenda Avitia-Pena, Brian Colombana and Jimmy Calderon, deceived the student borrowers into paying them illegal upfront charges by promising to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt. The defendants also did like Aiding Student Relief, Aidnest and Studora, among others.

In 2019, four defendants settled the FTC charges. Duong was banned from telemarketing and defendants Avitia-Pena, Calderon and Capital Sun Investments were banned from the sale of debt relief services. In 2020, the court issued a default judgment against the other defendants, including Colombana, prohibiting them from selling debt relief or telemarketing services.

The FTC is mailing full refunds, worth an average of $ 607 each, to victims of the scheme who have previously filed a complaint with law enforcement. Consumers who receive checks must deposit or cash their checks within 90 days, as indicated on the check. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

Consumers who did not receive a check and think they should have been included in the distribution can call the refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc. at 1-877-310-4642.

The FTC interactive dashboards for reimbursement data provide a state-by-state breakdown of FTC refunds. In 2020, the FTC’s actions led to more than $ 483 million in refunds to consumers across the country, but recently the United States Supreme Court ruled that the FTC did not have the power, in under section 13 (b), to seek pecuniary relief in federal court in the future. the The Commission urged Congress to restore the FTC’s ability to come back to consumers.

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