Owners On Hook for Nearly $11 Million Disgorgement
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against 13 corporate entities and corporate officers, claiming their combined debt collection practices violated the FTC Act (FTCA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The corporate defendants were found guilty of misrepresentation because the debt collectors stated they were from a “fraud unit” or a “fraud division” and falsely accused debtors of committing check fraud, threatened consumers with criminal prosecution if the debts were not paid, and contacted debtor’s friends, family, employers and co-workers. The company’s co-owners were held personally, and jointly and severally, liable for the $10,852,368 disgorgement calculated by the FTC. The Second Circuit affirmed holding the co-owners had both sufficient authority over the corporate defendants and knowledge of their practices.