The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday (May 19) that it will mail 690,000 checks, amounting to over $152 million, to customers who were defrauded by a payday lending fraud scheme run by AMG Services and the company’s owner, Scott Tucker.
This will be happening through the FTC’s refund administrator. This wave of checks is the second for this case, and after it has been completed, the FTC will have issued more than $535 million in refunds to impacted customers.
According to the FTC press release, the refunds were spurred by a criminal case filed by the Department of Justice. Settlements with other defendants that had been entered before the Supreme Court overturned the monetary judgment the FTC had gotten in its civil case against Tucker in April 2021.
The FTC sued AMG in 2012, alleging that AMG and its operators falsely claimed that they’d charge borrowers the loan amount in addition to a one-time finance fee.
That wasn’t what happened — instead, the defendants made numerous withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts, adding new finance fees with every withdrawal, making it so consumers paid more for the loans than they’d agreed to do.
Then, in 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York sent down criminal convictions against Tucker and his attorney, Timothy Muir.
In other news regarding the FTC, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he wants the FTC to look into whether identity verification services provider ID.me, used by federal and state agencies, has misled people about its use of facial recognition.
Wyden wrote a letter along with other senators to try and investigate the company.
He alleged the company had claimed in blog posts and other statements that its “one-to-one” facial recognition tech was better than “one-to-many” facial recognition, where a person’s photo is queried against a digital lineup of other peoples’ photos.