The operators of a student debt relief scheme must pay $43.3 million in alleged credit fraud fines, according to a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC alleged that the operators charged illegal upfront fees. It also alleges that the operators made false promises to consumers struggling with student loan debt.
The complaint was filed against Arete Financial Group and other significant companies. It named Carey G. Howe, Anna C. Howe, Shunmin Hsu, Ruddy Palacios and Oliver Pomazi as defendants.
Arete Financial Group's student debt relief scheme claims to offer customers "financial freedom." Moreover, the Southern California-based company promises to "handle the stress of dealing with [clients'] creditors".
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