The Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General are sending refunds totaling more than $540,000 to consumers nationwide who were defrauded by Life Management Services of Orange County, LLC, and related companies who tricked them into paying for worthless credit card interest rate reduction and debt elimination programs. The average check amount is $117.
The FTC is sending checks to more than 4,600 consumers. Recipients should cash their checks within 90 days, as indicated on the check. Consumers who have questions about their refunds should contact the refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 1-877-381-0342, or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.
According to the FTC’s June 2016 complaint, brought jointly with the Florida Attorney General, the Life Management defendants bombarded consumers with illegal robocalls trying to sell them bogus credit card interest rate reduction services. The defendants made phony guarantees about lowering consumers’ credit card interest rates and saving them thousands of dollars in interest payments. Customers made up-front payments but rarely, if ever, got the promised services. The defendants also pitched a bogus credit card debt elimination service, falsely claiming that they could access funds from the government or from a lawsuit against the credit card industry to pay off consumers’ credit card debt.
A court order announced in June 2019 as part of a law enforcement effort to halt illegal robocalls partially settled the Commission’s complaint by permanently barring 17 Life Management defendants from engaging in telemarketing and debt relief services and requiring them to pay money to provide refunds to defrauded consumers. The district court awarded the FTC and Florida summary judgment against the scheme’s ringleader, Kevin Guice, in December 2018, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in March 2022.
The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2022, Commission actions led to more than $392 million in refunds to consumers across the country.
The refunds being sent today are the result of a settlement resolved before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the Commission lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court. Because of that ruling, the Commission no longer has its strongest tool to return money to consumers, and it will become harder to provide refunds to consumers harmed by deceptive and unfair conduct. The Commission has urged Congress to restore the Commission’s ability to get money back for consumers.