partly resolves acase the FTC filed in January 2017,
alleging that the defendants placed Craigslist ads for rental properties that
did not exist or that they had no right to offer for rent. When people
responded to the ads, the defendants impersonated property owners and offered
property tours if consumers would first obtain credit reports and scores from
their websites. These sites claimed to provide “free” credit reports and
scores, but then enrolled consumers in a credit monitoring service with monthly
charges of $29.94. Many people did not realize they were enrolled until they
noticed unexpected charges on their bank or credit card statements, sometimes
after several billing cycles. At the FTC’s request, a federal court temporarily
halted the scheme during the litigation.
against Danny Pierce and Andrew Lloyd prohibits them from misrepresenting
material facts about any product or service, and it specifies how they must
monitor their affiliate marketers in the future. For example, they must require
certain information from affiliates, including their name and location, as well
as advance copies of all marketing materials. They also must investigate any
complaints about affiliate marketers and end the affiliation if they find
practices the order prohibits.
The order also
prohibits Pierce and Lloyd from profiting from consumers’ personal information
obtained as part of the scheme and failing to dispose of it properly. The order
imposes a $6.8 million judgment that will be partially suspended when Pierce
has paid $117,000 and Lloyd has paid $645,000. Litigation continues against
defendants Credit Bureau Center LLC and Michael Brown.
vote approving the proposed stipulated order against Pierce and Lloyd was 2-0.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern
Division, entered the order against them on October 26, 2017.
Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the
District Court judge.