One defendant ordered to pay more than $11 million as part of settlement

Additional defendants involved with student loan debt relief schemes have been permanently banned from selling debt relief services pursuant to settlements with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC alleged that they tricked consumers into paying illegal upfront fees in hopes of reducing or eliminating their student loan debt.

One of the defendants, Brenda Avitia-Pena, has been ordered to pay $11 million as part of her settlement with the Commission.

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The Federal Trade Commission is urging consumers affected by Equifax’s 2017 data breach to consider signing up for the free credit monitoring offered as part of the settlement. A new FTC blog post notes that because of high interest in the alternative cash payment under the settlement, consumers who choose this option might end up getting far less than $125.

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by Seena Gressin
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education

If you needed yet another nudge to start keeping an eye on your credit report to protect against identity theft, Capital One has delivered it with its announcement that a data breach has exposed the personal information of 106 million of its credit card customers and credit card applicants in the United States and Canada.

News of the Capital One breach comes just one week after the Federal Trade Commission announced that Equifax agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the FTC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 states and territories, stemming from the credit reporting giant’s 2017 data breach, which affected about 147 million people.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an emergency action charging two individuals with running a pump and dump scheme targeting retail investors. The SEC also obtained an emergency court order freezing the defendants' assets.

According to the SEC's complaint, Florida resident Garrett M. O'Rourke and Maryland resident Michael J. Black worked together between 2016 and 2018 to fraudulently sell the stock of several microcap companies to investors, including elderly retail investors, using high pressure stock promotional campaigns.   more...
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged AR Capital LLC, its founder Nicholas S. Schorsch, and its former CFO Brian Block with wrongfully obtaining millions of dollars in connection with two separate mergers between real estate investment trusts (REITs) that were sponsored and externally managed by AR Capital. The defendants agreed to settle the matter by, among other things, cumulatively agreeing to over $60 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has instituted two related enforcement actions against Nomura Securities International Inc., which has agreed to repay approximately $25 million to customers for its failure to adequately supervise traders in mortgage-backed securities.

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