FTC Action Leads to Court Orders Against Scheme That Charged Millions of Dollars to Consumers' Bank and Credit Card Accounts Without Their Consent
At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal district court has banned seven individuals, Ideal Financial Solutions Inc., and its subsidiaries from collecting or disclosing consumer information. Until the FTC filed its lawsuit in 2013, the defendants operated a massive scam that took money from consumers’ bank accounts without their authorization.
“These defendants bought sensitive personal information from data brokers and used it to steal people’s money,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Misusing sensitive data causes real harm to consumers, and I’m pleased that the court banned the defendants from this conduct.”
The defendants bought consumer payday loan applications, which included Social Security and bank account numbers, from data brokers and payday loan websites, and used the information to defraud consumers. To end the problem, the FTC has sued several of the data brokers who sold consumers’ information to Ideal Financial, including Sitesearch Corp., also known as LeapLab, Gen X Marketing Group LLC and Sequoia One LLC.
The court has imposed a $43,083,720 judgment against Ideal Financial Solutions and its subsidiaries, Steven Sunyich, Christopher Sunyich, Michael Sunyich, and Melissa Sunyich Gardner, and a $36,575,542 judgment against Jared Mosher. The court banned the ringleaders, Jared Mosher, Steven Sunyich and Christopher Sunyich, from marketing, selling and handling any credit-related products or services. It banned all of the defendants from collecting or disclosing consumer account numbers except for transactions expressly authorized by the consumer.
Settlements entered in June 2014 banned Kent Brown and Shawn Sunyich from placing unauthorized charges on consumer financial accounts and collecting and disclosing consumer financial information without the consumer’s express consent. The orders imposed suspended $25 million judgments against each defendant, and Brown was required to liquidate his assets and turn them over to the FTC.
The U. S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered the final judgment against the remaining defendants on February 23, 2016.
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R. Michael Waller and Megan Bartley
Bureau of Consumer Protection